A recent report claims that ISIS terrorists are utilizing Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram to promote jihad and gain support for terror attacks across the West.
The Telegraph reports that ISIS terrorists are using the photo-sharing platform Instagram to promote jihad and terror attacks in the West. The terrorists are reportedly finding new ways to get past the platform’s security checks so that they can post images celebrating the murder of “kafir” in the West. The term kafir refers to “unbelievers” of Islam. These posts are regularly accompanied by photos of terror attack victims, dead soldiers, and beheadings.
Many of the posts threaten further terror attacks on the same scale as the Sri Lankan suicide bombings which took the lives of 253 people. Many of the posts openly use the ISIS logo and images of the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Telegraph states that these posts prove that social media platforms have serious issues with preventing extremists from exploiting them to further spread their messages.
The Sunday Telegraph alerted Instagram and Facebook to these posts and the accounts were removed shortly afterward, with the social media platforms admitting that they posts violated site guidelines and promising that such content was not allowed on their sites. U.K. security minister Ben Wallace has been critical of social media firms, however, stating that: “It’s vital tech companies do more to ensure their platforms are not used for these purposes.”
The chair of the home affairs select committee, Yvette Cooper, stated that such posts being allowed on social med was “an utter disgrace.” Cooper added: “We have challenged the companies many times on the way their money-making algorithms are promoting extremism — these companies are profiting from pushing poison.” She continued: “It is truly shocking social media companies aren’t sorting this out. This is why it’s time for regulation and heavy fines to get illegal and dangerous material off social media.”
Eric Feinberg of the Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Centre discovered many of the extremist posts after developing technology that detects communications and euphemisms used by terrorists in Arabic and other languages. “This material is designed to incite, radicalize and recruit Isil sympathizers and lone wolves. All it takes is one person to be inspired by this and people could die as a result,” said Mr. Feinberg.
Read more about the investigation at the Telegraph here.