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Day 92 – Q 2.How do terrorist organisations use various social media platforms to further their interests? Examine.

2. How do terrorist organisations use various social media platforms to further their interests? Examine. 

आतंकवादी संगठन अपने हितों को आगे बढ़ाने के लिए विभिन्न सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफार्मों का उपयोग कैसे करते हैं? जांच करें।


Terrorism involves violence against public, with a political or religious desire. Terrorist acts are organized so as to attract large attention. The terrorist acts have become more dangerous with the advancement of technology.

According to a Report from the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, United Kingdom, social media has been consciously failing to combat extremism and not doing enough to stop online radicalization. 


Role of Internet in Radicalization:

The ease of access to information and speed of use of social media has added a new dimension to use of technology by terrorist organization. As such terrorist organization use social media for:

  • Radicalization: Social media is also been used by the like-minded individuals as a tool for radicalization. Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh got intensified because of misuse of social media by non-state actors
  • Disruption in military operation against terrorist organization by calling crowd through social media as was seen in Burhan wani case.
  • Propaganda: Terrorist networks utilizing social media to conduct ideological campaign covertly or overtly and massive. 
  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has used social media and online propaganda for more than a decade, launching its English language digital magazine, which inspired the Boston Marathon bombers, in 2010. 
  • Even the Taliban makes strategic use of social media, running its own Telegram channel, al-Emarah.
  • Recruitment: Use of Internet, by terrorist organization such as ISIS in recruiting youth all around the world has become a reality. 
  • Advertising their deeds: The live streamed slaughter of 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has shined a spotlight on how terrorists employ social media.
  • Communication to partner : message conveying through social media
  • Coordinating and planning attacks: Evidence of ISIS using social media platforms like Twitter, Telegram coordinate attacks has been found by UNDP report. 
  • Espionage and information gathering: Social media acts as an easy tool for data gathering, with thousands of pictures and information shared by each user. There is also possible use of honey trapping through use of Facebook and other social media for intelligence gathering. 


As far as India is concerned, there have been cases of youths from Maharashtra and Kerala who wanted to join IS. There was a case of a corporate executive in Bengaluru who had lakhs of followers for his ideas supporting IS ideology.  

Institutions such as Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) are there in UK to counter online extremism and India needs to have such mechanisms. Such practice can be adopted by India. 

Section 79 of the Information Technology Act 2000 says that Intermediaries, like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter are not liable for third party information if they observe due diligence while discharging their duties.

Although no social media platform wants to willfully promote terrorism but terrorism, radicalization and extremism are something that has taken a gigantic shape. It needs simultaneous efforts both nationally and internationally to eradicate this disease.

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