Twitter has launched an all-out-war against ISIS and similar organizations that promote violent extremism and is actively wiping out all ISIS accounts on its site. ISIS sympathizers, however, are not intimidated by Twitter's actions and are determined to make their online presence felt even more.
Shortly after the deadly terror attacks in Europe, alleged Islamic State operative with a username "Abu al-Walid" posted a cryptic message on Twitter warning the public of more attacks to come. Twitter was quick to close the said account, but Walid kept coming back. For every terrorist-related account that is closed, a thousand more surface, making it impossible for gatekeepers to keep up.
Tech Times earlier reported that Twitter has shut down more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015, all of which are connected to terrorism or similarly promote violent extremism. This angered a lot of ISIS-sympathizers who started issuing death threats to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Some even tweeted an image of a bullet-riddled blue bird that represents the company's logo.
Twitter, however, is not backing down and the crackdown continues. In March alone, 26,000 more accounts connected to ISIS propagandists have been permanently deleted, bringing alleged terrorists and sympathizers' online presence down by 40 percent, reveals a Wall Street Journal report.
Still, it would require a great deal of effort on Twitter's end to truly win this online battle. Chances are, playing a game of whack-a-mole with terrorists is not going to permanently solve the problem. As Walid tweets, "There is nothing you can do, you dog – if the account is deleted or hacked, within three minutes I'll be back with a new one."
"No terrorist organization in history has launched as dynamic and ultimately effective global influence operation online as Islamic State," says Michael S Smith II, chief operating officer of Kronos Advisory, as cited by the WSJ. Kronos is a security consulting firm based in South Carolina that partners with crowdsourcing organizations like CtrlSec, which monitor terrorists' online activities.
In this day and age where technology is advancing at a faster rate, terrorist organizations use it as a platform to launch their propaganda, activate their recruitment and solicit financial support. Terrorism knows no bounds and presents a serious threat to any country, people and society. Islamic State sympathizers work non-stop, tweeting and posting jihadists quotes on social media, as well as touting a promise of paradise to those who would support their cause.