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The Response of, and on, Twitter to the Release of Dabiq Issue 15 / Stuart Macdonald; David Mair; Daniel Grinnell

Swansea University Author: Macdonald, Stuart

Abstract

On 31 July 2016 so-called Islamic State (IS) released issue 15 of their online English-language magazine Dabiq. In the 24 days that followed a total of 11,586 distinct accounts posted tweets/retweets mentioning the new issue. Using a bespoke platform, the researchers collected details of all these a...

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Published: Europol Headquarters, The Hague 1st European Counter Terrorism Centre Advisory Group Conference 2017
Online Access: https://www.europol.europa.eu/publications-documents/response-of-and-twitter-to-release-of-dabiq-issue-15
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa34344
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Abstract: On 31 July 2016 so-called Islamic State (IS) released issue 15 of their online English-language magazine Dabiq. In the 24 days that followed a total of 11,586 distinct accounts posted tweets/retweets mentioning the new issue. Using a bespoke platform, the researchers collected details of all these accounts (e.g., profile text, date account was created, language in which it was registered), as well as the first tweet each account posted that mentioned Dabiq issue 15 (including whether it was a plain tweet, directed tweet or retweet, and whether it contained an external link). This paper focuses on two sets of findings. First, it examines the 573 accounts that were suspended during the data collection period. It will be shown that the vast majority of these accounts were set up shortly before the new issue’s release and expressed support for either Dabiq or IS more generally. Second, it examines the 3,271 accounts whose first post contained original content (i.e., was not merely a retweet). Whilst the predominant tone was critical, many of these tweets (n=1621) contained external links, either to the magazine itself or to news items covering its release. Putting these two sets of findings together, the paper concludes by identifying challenges facing efforts to suppress online terrorist propaganda.
Keywords: Terrorism, propaganda, Twitter, internet
College: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law