Disrupting Daesh: Measuring Takedown of Online Terrorist Material and Its Impacts

This report seeks to contribute to public and policy debates on the value of social media disruption activity with respect to terrorist material. We look in particular at aggressive account and content takedown, with the aim of accurately measuring this activity and its impacts. Our findings challenge the notion that Twitter remains a conducive space for Islamic State (IS) accounts and communities to flourish, although IS continues to distribute propaganda through this channel. However, not all jihadists on Twitter are subject to the same high levels of disruption as IS, and we show that there is differential disruption taking place. IS’s and other jihadists’ online activity was never solely restricted to Twitter. Twitter is just one node in a wider jihadist social media ecology. We describe and discuss this, and supply some preliminary analysis of disruption trends in this area.

Tags: Censorship, ISIS, Twitter, Violent Jihadism