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A new and disturbing trend has popped up which a few journalists have followed; terrorists using social media to their advantage. Twitter is their favorite platform at the moment.
Recent reports mention that ISIS members are targeting Saudi police by tracking them over Twitter. Intelligence officers gathering data on the group have allegedly already been attacked. Thousands of Saudis are allegedly supporting the group and monitoring information about opponents.
According to Digital Journal reports from the Wire claim that Twitter is by far the favorite platform of terrorists. Facebook and other platforms are also quite popular for recruiting new members. Other groups use it to give orders as well.
According to a report from Fast Company bans have done little to stop terrorists. Once a video gets taken down they just put it up again in the same form under another name. YouTube is easy to use and to make new accounts on with a slight change of IP so by its very nature it is useful for propaganda. By combining these with low-cost solutions terrorists can maximize their resources.
Of course while social media is neutral, it can also be used to fight terrorism. Citizens and activists have also been using it to fight terrorism in their personal time. Some media voices urge that we need to increase our focus on counter-terrorism in social media.
Countries such as Canada are also using it to fight terrorism in Nigeria. Authorities and activists are slowly catching on to the fact that they can use this technology for good instead of evil. Social media analysts are even contributing maps used to track and fight Ebola.