Opinion| Social Media Terrorism

Opinion| Social Media Terrorism

Daily News Egypt) Despite international efforts, terrorism and violent extremism continue to grow in many countries worldwide. For example, groups affiliated with organizations like“Al Qaeda” and“ISIS” have made significant progress in areas such as the Gulf of Guinea coast, causing countries like France to withdraw and leaving the situation to deteriorate further.

Terrorism and extremism are no longer solely represented in religious tendencies; neo-Nazi and white supremacy movements have become major threats to the internal security of many first-world countries. The latest United Nations report on the growth of this phenomenon indicates that terrorism is feeding on the multiple crises facing the world, such as the food and energy crises and the“blazing inferno” of climate change, including poverty, discrimination, frustration, deficiencies in infrastructure and institutions, and gross violations of human rights.
The report also highlights a new phenomenon: the spread of hate on the internet through social networks that work around the clock to spread intellectual poisons and extremist opinions, attracting young people who represent the largest segment of users on these networks. Social media, through many applications, has become the main base for intellectually recruiting young people by spreading extremist poisons, defining goals, drawing policies, and communicating between terrorist cells.

These applications have become a safe haven for spreading terrorism and extremism. This is due to the main advantages they provide, including strong encryption, making correspondence more secure, and making it difficult to penetrate by security services. Additionally, these applications allow for accurate identification of the target audience.

Over the past four years, the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology“Etidal” has cooperated with the popular application“Telegram” to review extremist content published in Arabic on the internet. This partnership resulted in the removal of 7,207,810 million extremist content and the closure of 1,554 extremist channels during the second quarter of this year.

The“Etidal” team also monitored digital propaganda activity published in Arabic on the“Telegram” platform, belonging to three terrorist organizations:“Al-Qaeda,”“Haya Tahrir Al-Sham,” and“ISIS.” The removed extremist content of the terrorist“Al-Qaeda” organization topped with 3,511,979 million extremist content in 535 extremist channels, followed by“Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham” with 1,951.52 million content in 403 channels, while the“ISIS” organization broadcasted 1,744,304 extremist content on 616 extremist channels.

The report notes that these groups became active during Ramadan, broadcasting extremist content, creating 81 channels, and reaching 615,506 content. The monitoring team in“Etidal” noticed the intensity of the activity of the terrorist organization“Al-Qaeda” in broadcasting its extremist content for the first time since February 2022 until now, broadcasting 3.511.979 million extremist content and disseminating it through 535 channels.

Some believe that geopolitical conditions and events in Syria have led some to adopt extremist ideas and join“ISIS.” Some directed their innate feelings of hatred toward colonialism and injustice to support the“oppressed” in Syria, imagining that“ISIS” and other warring groups are seeking to support the oppressed. A socio-political point of view is spreading among academic and research political circles, which believe that the extinction of leftist and liberation movements worldwide has left a political and ideological vacuum filled or partly filled by extremist groups.

Despite all efforts, the extremist idea remains unique in its attractiveness, distinct in its charm, and striking in its diversity. However, it always needs a way to target its followers. For several decades, mosques, religious seminars, and summer centers were the primary means of convincing young people to adopt the ideology of extremist groups and to attract new members. This stage ended with the advent of a new element, represented by social media, which is now more influential.

The crisis of content censorship within all internet networks and applications must be reformulated by a global consensus on what terrorism is. No matter how much governments intensify their unilateral efforts to combat terrorism, this cannot be achieved without a consensus on the concept of terrorism. Therefore, the first and most crucial step is to find a specific and binding definition of terrorism. What the East sees as terrorism may be seen by the West as a matter of freedom, and this is illogical. The new definition must also be included in the United Nations Charter to enable further measures to be taken with social media companies to address the problem of extremist and violent content and the exploitation of these platforms by terrorist militias.

Source » menafn.com