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ISIS battles Twitter and the militants are winning, thanks to Diaspora

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Twitter began swinging its ban hammer after graphic images of an American journalist's murder were tweeted from accounts associated with the Islamic State. As a result, militants and their supporters are moving to Diaspora's decentralized collection of servers to propagandize their campaign to build a worldwide caliphate.

Diaspora's free and open source software (FOSS) foundation allows anyone to leverage the social network's platform. Diaspora's pods, or network nodes, can be used to establish a group over which the social networking site's administrators have no control.

Diaspora says it's aware of the migration of Islamic State fighters and supporters to its site from Twitter. The social network says it is reaching out to its podmins, pod administrators, to investigate accounts believed to be held by Islamic State fighters.

"As many of the members of the core team are pod administrators ourselves, we know it can be hard to detect such users," says Diaspora. "We rely on our community members to use the report function to alert their podmin to any post or comment they believe to be a cause for concern. However, because this is such a crucial issue, we have also accumulated a list of accounts related to IS fighters, which are spread over a large number of pods, and we are in the process of talking to the podmins of those pods."

Talks with podmins that oversee content generated by the Islamic State have progressed well, so far, says Diaspora. The larger pods have complied with removing content and accounts associated with the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIS and ISIL.

"Each pod administrator has final say over the content hosted on their pod, and we, and our entire community of members, work to help our podmins to keep the network healthy and growing," says Diaspora. "We will continue our efforts to talk with the podmins, but we want to emphasize once again that the project's core team is not able to decide what podmins should do."

Twitter's aggressive response to accounts associated with Islamic State were revved up after the militants posted videos of the killing of James Foley, an American photojournalist who was covering Syria's civil war. With Twitter serving as much more of a source of news than rivals that filter content, such as Facebook, the social networking site began acting proactively to ban Islamic State militants.

"We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you," stated Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in a tweet.

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