ISIS social media presence continues to grow despite bans

A new report reveals that terrorist organization ISIS is still able to evade detection on Facebook despite massive effort to ban them.

According to the report, ISIS is using new tactics to avoid detection from content managers. One of the popular tactics used by the terrorist organization is to share content from real news outlets. The group is also notorious for hacking Facebook accounts and spreading videos to followers on how to do it.

How social media is responding

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) released the report recently. For three months, the group tracked the social media activities of 288 Facebook accounts with suspected links to ISIS. According to ISD, the group behind these accounts is utilizing new strategies to bypass detection.

The ISD added that the group has strategies that can evade both automated and manual content moderation techniques. In turn, this allowed them to spread their message throughout thousands of their ardent followers.

In response, Facebook claims that most of the 288 accounts have already been suspended.
The researchers have found out that these ISIS Facebook accounts are plotting to launch an attack on other Facebook accounts. The group targets top United States military officials and political leaders.

Researchers from ISD said that they have documented in real-time how this ISIS digital army operates. One of their tactics is to flood their target’s comment sections with materials related to their cause.

One documented attack targeted U.S. President Donald Trump’s Facebook page using African-American accounts. Another attack targeted the U.S. Department of Defense and Air Force Academy Facebook pages. The attackers posted images of the 9/11 terrorist attack, along with threatening messages.

Evolving digital strategies

The head of the research, Moustafa Ayad, said:

“The tactics we outline in our report are shifting as we speak. Without a clear understanding of these networks, and their behaviors, responses reliant on takedowns do little to quell ISIS-support expansion across our primary platforms.”

As part of the effort to counter these ISIS digital attacks, the ISD suggests that Facebook update its system. Most importantly, the system is used to automatically or manually manage content on its platform. It appears that there are still loopholes on the system, given the proliferation of their terrorist propaganda.

Facebook said that it is working on improving its platform based on the recommendations of the ISD. Moreover, the social media giant reiterated that there is no room for terrorist organizations like ISIS on its platform.

Image courtesy of Glen Carrie/Unsplash

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