Social media in the 21st century has become an instrumental tool in various terrorist groups in their attempts to recruit new members, finance their organizations, and plan attacks. Of these groups, ISIS is the most notable. Starting in 2004 with the filming of the murder of Nick Berg by Al-Zarqawi, the figurehead of ISIS, legions of fans inspired by this event took to the internet and created the violent online jihad that we see today. Social media has today become the most important tool for terrorist organizations such as ISIS to spread their message, attracting international attention through sensational acts, such as widely publicized massacres and beheadings. There is, however, more to it than that; at the same time, social media is used to spread the “positive” side of the Caliphate with interviews of people who depict a life in Eden, where “true Islam” can flourish. It is used to groom and convince individuals across the world to move to the territories of the terrorist organizations, to help them in their cause and if that is not possible, to plan an attack in their home countries. The response to this has been insufficient, but new ways are being tested and, with cooperation, there could be a solution to the problems social media has posed in the hands of extremists.
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