Research: The ISIS Twitter Census by Brookings

ISIS Screenshot at Mar 09 14-31-52

On March 4, 2015, Brookings published a special report targeting the issue of ISIS social media presence. The authors have identified 40,000 ISIS supporters on Twitter. How does it work? What does it mean in the conflicts of 21 century?

The core findings by the researchers are the following:

  • In October through November 2014, at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were used by ISIS supporters.
  • A sample of 20,000 confirmed ISIS supporters was examined to extract demographics data, with a plurality of users apparently residing in the territories controlled by the Islamic State. The second-most common location for ISIS supporters was Saudi Arabia.
  • Nearly one in five ISIS supporting accounts designated English as their primary language. Almost three quarters selected Arabic, and one in 20 selected French.
  • Thousands of accounts have been suspended by Twitter since October 2014, measurably degrading ISIS’s ability to project its propaganda to wider audiences.

Note: last year I published the research on the role of social media in popular protests in Ukraine

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