ISIS Has 300 U.S. Ambassadors on Twitter, Report Says
At least 300 Americans, many of them women, are acting as ISIS ambassadors on social media — spreading propaganda and hunting for potential recruits, according to a new report.
Researchers at George Washington University's Program on Extremism said that Twitter is the platform of choice for U.S. based sympathizers, even though the service regularly suspends accounts that spew ISIS material.
As soon as they are taken down — which is seen as a "badge of honor" — new accounts replace them them within hours and are retweeted by others to bring them up to their previous follower level.
The report identified American ISIS supporters who acted as online "spotters" for the terror gang, and the researchers who monitored those accounts for six months were able to watch recruitment of recently converted Americans unfold in real time.
"In one case the seemingly naïve individual posted general questions about religion, to which ISIS supporters quickly responded in a calm and authoritative manner," the authors wrote.
"After a few weeks, the accounts of hardened ISIS supporters slowly introduced increasingly ardent views into the conversation. The new recruit was then invited to continue the conversion privately, often via Twitter's Direct Message feature or on other private messaging platforms such as surespot."