Why do terrorists migrate to social media?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the growing attraction of social media for the modern terrorists the relies on the combined impact of the several trends: the expansion of online social media and its advantages for terrorists, the virtual interactivity that terrorist propaganda and recruitment are using especially with the targeting of specific audiences and the emergence of the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist whose virtual pack is found in the terrorists’ social media. The terrorist migration to new online resources challenges the counterterrorism agencies as well as the academics who research terrorism. The meteoric rise of social media has let radical groups and terrorists freely disseminate ideas through multiple modalities, including websites, blogs, social networking websites, forums, and video sharing services. Most of the terrorist online platforms are on sites provided in Western, democratic, liberal countries. Almost all of the new social media platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and YouTube, are managed and owned by Western companies, mostly American.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViolent Extremism Online
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives on Terrorism and the Internet
EditorsA. Aly, T. Chen, L. Jarvis, S. Macdonald
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781317431886
ISBN (Print)9781138912298
StatePublished - 5 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 selection and editorial material, Anne Aly, Stuart Macdonald, Lee Jarvis and Thomas Chen.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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