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ISIS threatens social media networks: ‘Stop deleting our accounts’

It appears ISIS is feeling the pinch when it comes to its social media accounts systematically being deleted by social network administrators. One particular jihadi group took to an encrypted Telegram channel to bemoan the constant deletion of their propaganda channels while also mocking intelligence agencies whom they accuse of infiltrating ISIS channels to obtain “real and credible information about the Islamic State.” “We are not dumb nor stupid not to know that you are monitoring our Channels!.. Reporting our Channels to be Disabled cuts off your source of information therefore rendering you useless and naive” the post reads. The post also suggests that without news reports and propaganda from the Islamic State, social media platforms would have less news to report and less traffic, meaning a harder time to generate advertising revenue. “Reporting our Channels to be Disabled means You will run out of Business because Our Channels are Your Sources of income” the post states. Despite efforts by social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Telegram, Jihadis often return to social networks, creating new profiles with slightly different account names or adding a number sequence to identify themselves to their close followers. In a statement last year, Twitter announced that it had shut 360,000 accounts that were promoting or threatening terrorist acts. Similarly, Facebook and YouTube have also implemented steps leading to the deletion of thousands of jihadi social media accounts and videos. Telegram, dubbed the jihadis’ ‘app of choice’ has created an ISIS watch-bot, tracking the number of ISIS-affiliated channels and bots removed each month. But The Foreign Desk has observed a cunning scheme by ISIS in recent weeks with the implementation of a bot that randomly generates email addresses, temporary mobile phone numbers and pin codes required by some social media accounts upon signup. Jihadis have also been spotted on Instagram, bypassing the Instagram video length cap by ‘stitching’ videos together in consecutive posts. Some pro-ISIS Facebook users have resorted to invite-only groups where they have been able to maintain a constant online presence for several weeks before infiltration and deletion occurs. Still, some jihadis have kept their Twitter accounts beyond the reach of authorities by setting their Tweets to protected viewing, only allowing ‘vetted’ followers to see their posts. In some instances, accounts promoting terrorism have gone undetected by enabling an app such as “Tweet delete” that deletes Tweets after a certain amount of user-defined time has lapsed.
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