The recent headlines were enough to concern even the most cynical reader. “Terrorist groups recruiting through social media,” blared the headline at the CBC’s website. “Social Media Gave Terrorist Groups Second Wind,” read the report at pixelsandpolicy.com. “Terrorists making ‘friends’ on Facebook,” topped the Digital Journal story, underscored by an image of a masked person brandishing an automatic weapon.
Why all the alarm? It turns out these and many similar stories were all prompted by a new study by University of Haifa communications professor Gabriel Weimann. In it, Wiemann asserts that “…90% of terrorist activity on the Internet takes place using social networking tools,” a claim also previously made by researcher Evan Kholmann. That terrorists were using the Internet took no one by surprise; that nearly all of their activity takes place in the relative open of social networking did.
Today, using the social networks, they can actually come to you. That is, using the social nature of Facebook, a page opens to another page, and so on. Friends and friends of friends, like widening circles, all become a huge social web, ” – says Weimann.
So, how widespread is the tactic and how serious the problem? Get the details in Doug Bernard’s latest Digital Frontier blog post on VOANews.com.
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