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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Twitter replaces smuggled video as terrorists’ preferred way to communicate: McClatchy

Sep 9th, 2012 al-Qaida, Weblogs

On August 29th, 2012, Hannah Allam wrote for McClatchy Newspapers  on how jihadists are increasingly using Twitter as a media outreach tool.  Of course, jihadists have always used other media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and good ol’-fashioned audiotapes to spread their message.  However, Twitter is different because it “still offers a rare unfiltered space for the groups.”  This relative lack of censorship allows extremists “to reach young, disgruntled Muslims who might be on the fence about taking up arms,” expand their propaganda efforts, and comment on current events.

I found this interesting:

The [al Qaida] message praised Twitter, saying its most important role is in allowing oppressed groups to get out their messages without traditional journalistic filters, thereby ushering in “the balanced media era.”

 

I love how al Qaida is now interested in fighting for free speech rights.

Speaking of free speech rights, Allam noted the debate between whether we should listen in or delete the accounts.  If you listen in, you can gain better insight and possibly stop future attacks.  On the other hand, you remove a propaganda source if you shut it down.  Will McCants (CSIS) had this to say:

“There’s not a lot to be gained from taking it down,” McCants said. “The fear is: ‘Oh my God, they’re on Twitter, how far could their propaganda reach?’ Once you calm down, you see that the only people who get excited about it are geeky intel analysts and fans they already have.”

 

You can read more of the McClatchy Newspapers source article here.

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