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November 21, 2014 0

ISIS Supporters Exploit Mixlr To Broadcast Extremism

Ter­ror­ist sym­pa­thiz­ers are exploit­ing the web­site and appli­ca­tion Mixlr to broad­cast and dis­cuss their extrem­ist views online. Their use of Mixlr par­al­lels pre­vi­ous efforts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its sup­port­ers to find and uti­lize new online plat­forms for spread­ing their pro­pa­ganda.mixlr-isis

Mixlr is a plat­form that enables users to broad­cast live audio “to the world” and to “chat, engage and inter­act with your lis­ten­ers in real time.” Mixlr is avail­able online and for smart­phones. Users can also log in via Face­book and Twitter.

Sup­port­ers of the ISIS have cre­ated at least two pages on Mixlr for broad­cast­ing and dis­cussing pro-ISIS material.

The pri­mary account is called Khi­lafah (Ara­bic for Caliphate). The sta­tion some­times broad­casts mul­ti­ple times per day and has a con­sid­er­able fol­low­ing: The account began broad­cast­ing on Octo­ber 19, 2014, and had gar­nered 44,548 “total lis­tens” as of Novem­ber 20, 2014. Broad­casts cover a vari­ety of ISIS related top­ics includ­ing news updates on ISIS and reports from ISIS sup­port­ers around the world.

The Khi­lafah account has 665 fol­low­ers who reg­u­larly con­verse on the site dur­ing broad­casts. Although much of the chat is mun­dane (requests to fix the sound qual­ity, for exam­ple), some com­ments demon­strate the users’ extrem­ism. A con­ver­sa­tion on Novem­ber 21, for exam­ple, cel­e­brated ISIS’s alleged takeover of the Iraqi city of Ramadi with one com­menter writ­ing, “They are dri­ven to the death…we will feed the faith with the blood of their veins.”

This account also has Pro mem­ber­ship sta­tus on Mixlr, which enables it to broad­cast for an unlim­ited num­ber of hours per week. This is a paid membership.

The sec­ondary pro-ISIS page, AL7AQ, has only 134 fol­low­ers, and is likely designed to replace the Khi­lafah page if it is shut down. That said, there has been some con­ver­sa­tion on the AL7AQ page as well.

The pages have an asso­ci­ated Twit­ter feed that announces upcom­ing broad­casts and archives pre­vi­ous ones and pro­motes videos on YouTube that explain how to access the broad­cast con­tent. As of Novem­ber 20, 2014, the Twit­ter feed had 2,393 fol­low­ers, most of whom are appar­ently ISIS sup­port­ers based on their com­ments and account pictures.

The same broad­casts are also avail­able on Paltalk, a pro­gram that enables video, voice, and group chats. Paltalk has been exploited by extrem­ists in other instances as well. The Authen­tic Tauheed Paltalk chan­nel, for exam­ple, broad­casts extrem­ist and pro-ISIS mes­sages by rad­i­cal cleric Abdul­lah al-Faisal.

In the past, ISIS and its sup­port­ers have attempted to use alter­na­tive social media sites includ­ing Frien­dica, Dias­pora and Quit­ter in order to keep their infor­ma­tion online as their accounts were shut down by Face­book and Twit­ter. Frien­dica, Dias­pora and Quit­ter have removed all pro-ISIS pages from their sites, and Twit­ter and Face­book reg­u­larly delete accounts that pro­mote ISIS messages.

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July 23, 2014 0

ISIS Faces Resistance From Social Media Companies

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has gar­nered atten­tion for its sophis­ti­cated use of social media. While the ter­ror­ist group has built on tech­niques pio­neered by other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions to spread its mes­sages and recruit fol­low­ers, social media com­pa­nies are increas­ingly shut­ting down ISIS accounts and frus­trat­ing its pro­pa­ganda dis­tri­b­u­tion mechanisms.

On July 12, ISIS announced that sev­eral of its main media accounts would be sus­pend­ing their use of Twit­ter in favor of a social media ser­vice called Frien­dica. This came after sev­eral weeks dur­ing which Twit­ter shut down ISIS offi­cial sites and ISIS replaced them with new ones.

Almost imme­di­ately, mul­ti­ple ISIS sup­port­ers joined Frien­dica to fol­low the group.

On July 20, the con­tent was deleted from seven of ISIS’s new Frien­dica sites. Every page on the Frien­dica web­site now comes with a ban­ner at the top stat­ing “Islamic State not wel­come on friendica.eu.”

On July 20, ISIS tried again, cre­at­ing accounts on alter­nate social media sites Quit­ter and Dias­pora. Although the Dias­pora accounts remain up, the Quit­ter accounts were shut down on July 23, replaced with a pic­ture pro­mot­ing peace and coex­is­tence (see image), a link to a web­site sell­ing books about Mahatma Gandhi and text in Eng­lish and Ara­bic stat­ing, “When you fight evil with evil – evil wins.”isis-quitter-diaspora-twitter-terrorism

In the past week, Twit­ter also shut down mul­ti­ple accounts rep­re­sent­ing ISIS regional commands.

ISIS has already recre­ated some of its accounts on Twit­ter. Ale3tisam, an offi­cial ISIS media out­let that had unsuc­cess­fully attempted to migrate to Frien­dica and Quit­ter, returned to Twit­ter and cre­ated a new account on July 23.  Sev­eral of the regional groups have done so as well. There also remain mul­ti­ple ISIS sup­port­ers with Twit­ter accounts who them­selves reg­u­larly share offi­cial propaganda.

Ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions are resource­ful enough to find new out­lets when their accounts are shut down. ISIS has con­tin­ued to cre­ate and dis­trib­ute media to wide audi­ences through­out the last three weeks. How­ever, there is no doubt that they also lose plat­forms and power, fac­ing greater dif­fi­culty in spread­ing their hate. By respond­ing aggres­sively to ter­ror­ist accounts, social media com­pa­nies have the power to decrease sig­nif­i­cantly the reach of ter­ror­ists’ hate­ful messages.

Indi­vid­u­als can also aid in the process. ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide enables the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter con­cerns with Inter­net ser­vice providers when they encounter ter­ror­ist con­tent online.

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