Tremendous growth of presence of the terrorist organizations in emerging markets poses threat to the security of the world. Jihadists increased their active promotion of the strategic goals by virtue of media resources. Besides, the main focus lies today in the active presence within social media. ISIS and other radical groups focus on the distribution of the terrorist related content through several media resources in order to target young people of Saudi Arabia. The research aims to explore the effects of the usage of social media by young people of Saudi Arabia over recruitment. The research will prove the importance of the adoption of strategic management policies in order to limit access and presence of ISIS and other radical groups in social media .Though the content analysis, the direct relationship between the usages of social media by ISIS to the improvement of the strategic management of the security of the country will be established. Given the fact that ISIS has proved fluent in YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, internet memes and other social media, this approach is seemed to be reliable. Its posting activity has ramped up during a recent offensive, recorded an all-time high of almost 40,000 tweets in one day as ISIS moved towards northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Amateur videos and images are being uploaded daily by its foot-soldiers, which are then globally shared both by ordinary users and mainstream news organizations. ISIS use of hashtags is interesting, as they focus them on group messaging and branding concepts.
Keywords: Social MediaExpansion of TerrorismStrategic Management
Over the last few years the governments of the United States and Western partners became concerned with devastating ability of the ISIS to lure beliefs and values of the young people in the countries of the Middle East region. In fact, several radical formations as ISIS expanded its presence within social medial platforms based on which the effective communication is maintained. The rise of new media technologies as social media communication platforms including Twitter, Facebook, enhanced an ability before these radical formations to recruit young people online. In this respect, this study will explore the role of social media in the rise of the communication of the ISIS with subsequent distribution of the terrorism related content within YouTube, Twitter, Instagram in support of its strategic objectives. With that, it should be noted that social grooming is expanding as well as several schoolchildren are being groomed on regular basis to adhere to the objectives and activities of the ISIS. The usage of social media by the ISIS with the purpose to reach young people becomes vulnerable activity that is close to sexual violence against this social group. Apart from the fact that the government of the United States and other countries invest in the development of the preventive strategies against distribution of the terrorism related content within social media platforms, the stoppage of the ISIS in social media is tough.
The popularity of the communication via social medial platforms has revealed the gap in the strategic management of the government of the countries of the Middle East regions including Saudi Arabia in the promotion of the counterterrorism strategy within social media as the most crucial venue used by the young people in the contemporary environment. Saudi Arabia has a large population of young people under 23 years old that can reach about sixty percent or more of the population (Huey, 2015). In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of the war on terror and has had its share of terrorist attacks on its soil, perpetrated by young citizens of Saudi Arabia who blew up themselves, even inside mosques, after being indoctrinated by the terrorist group ISIS. ISIS has been a great threat to the security of many nations in the region and has attacked Western interests and citizens. Saudi Arabia found itself at the forefront of the war with such terrorist organizations and is involved in a war at its southernmost border in Yemen, with several allies. The number of young Saudi men who have joined ISIS is unclear, estimated in the few thousands, according to the latest numbers issued by Saudi media and released by the Saudi Ministry of Interior. Saudi Arabia fears those young people swayed and indoctrinated by ISIS would return to their home country after being radicalized and commit more terrorist attacks against its citizens or against western targets, businesses, and citizens inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Hence, the government of Saudi Arabia has embarked and launched campaigns and efforts in cooperation with other friendly and allied nations to combat the indoctrination of terrorist groups to young impressionable and, sometimes gullible individuals, who have been lured into joining such terrorist groups. Thousands of young Muslim men and, in some cases, women fled their countries of birth in the West and joined ISIS in the war in Syria and other parts of the world. Such groups have succeeded in recruiting many young people, especially through the sophisticated use of social media. Given this statement, it is highly important to define the impact of the social media in the expansion of the activities of the terrorists. In fact, that ISIS and other similar formations have opted out to shift from the group to the attraction of the individuals to its activities. The representatives of the ISIS rely on the young people as the valuable asset in promotion of the terrorism as the attractive activity. In view of these challenges that arise before young people, the contribution of the strategic communication policies in Saudi Arabia will be considered as the way to limit access of the people to these media files and content for prevention of external influence. Moreover, it should be noted that the government of Saudi Arabia still cannot measure the exact amount of the young people that have already joined the ISIS in the promotion of the terrorism due to the fact that these figures cannot be received properly under the framework of the social media platforms. With that, the ISIS has already succeeded to target young people of the United States by virtue of the communication through social medial platforms as Twitter, Facebook while the current attention is paid to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The orientation of the ISIS to the Middle East is caused with the significant presence of the users in the social media up 2.4 million of people so that the propaganda of terrorist can be distributed there.
Align with the technological development, the increasing exposure of the terrorist groups and other radical parties could not have been left without attention. The mass adjustment to the social media platforms is referred to the actions of the terrorist groups as well due to their shift to these communication tools in order to support its presence among the followers located in different countries. The scope of the activities of the terrorists within social medial platforms varies from the recruitment processes, proliferation of the relevant messages in mass up to the expansion of the interactions between the different people through such tools as Facebook, Twitter, etc. In this respect, the development of the social media networks and applications on the daily basis leads to the appearance of significant challenges to the state authorities of different countries. This implies that the state authorities should adopt and adjust counter-terrorism strategies on the regular basis so that to be able to react to arising risks and challenges in order to prevent harm to the national security including life and health of the people. Given the fact that such terrorist groups as al-Qaeda and ISIS have decided to expand the scope of its influence in the Middle East region, the rise of their social media presence is clear and dangerous to the people of Saudi Arabia as one of the main destinations for these groups. In fact, there are several people in this country that are interested to joint ISIS and Al-Qaeda while the simplification of the communication with these groups through the social media assists to the achievement of this objective. From this perspective, the main problem that will be addressed through this research paper as whether the government of Saudi Arabia can limit the interaction of the young people of the country with the radical groups through the promotion of appropriate strategic management tools aimed to utilize the usage of the social media. In case the unlimited presence and communication of the ISIS with the young people of different countries will not be considered today, it is possible to predict that the other terrorist formations will appear in this environment. As the result of this increasing popularity of the social media, the stakeholders will lack resources for the limitation of the power of the ISIS and other groups in influencing the decisions of the people.
The world security is being threaten by the emerging rise of terrorist organizations activities within the social media platforms and therefore thus it is even more imperative for the governmental organizations be take efficient initiatives towards the defending protocols which critically effecting the nations especially using Saudi people. Therefore, it is not just the matter of security which is impacting entire mankind and youth society is being neglected the path of development and there should be some understanding and development required for the importance of the adoption of strategic management policies in order to limit access and presence of ISIS.
What are the factors critically considered by the terrorist organizations to attract target audience within the social media platform?
What are the regions critically affected also currently suffering the same?
What are the initiatives have been proposed by the governmental authorities to impose the threat?
Purpose of the Study
Social media platforms are being continuously used by terrorist organisations for the promotion of their propaganda. This is largely interpreted in the form of terrorist organisations and the associated users endorsing the particular terrorist organisations are actively participating in distributing violent and manipulative content over the internet through social media platforms which critically affecting the youth of Saud Arabia thus there should be some protocols provided by the governmental agencies to eliminate the threat which the primary concern of the study.
The investigation of the relationship between development of social media and rising presence of the jihadist groups is considered through the application of the in-depth interview approach. Given the subject-matter of the paper as to the operation of social media in reference to the development of the presence of the jihadists in such media platforms as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and several others, content analysis serves the role of the efficient research tool defining actual content and internal features of the media. In-depth interview the only available mechanism that may be used for the consideration of the primary drivers of the usage of the social media platforms by the representatives of the radical groups. In view of the existing biased treatment of the governments of the emerging markets of the Middle East region as to the power of the ISIS and related terrorist groups, the in-depth interview aims to produce appropriate recommendations and drawings pertaining to the development of the efficient management practices to be applied for the regulation of the actions of the jihadists.
This research analysed the usage of social media by the individuals of age 22-30 years and also analysed that whether they are influenced by the social media messages by the radical groups or not. This research analysed the usage of social media by the radical groups in terrorism activities by collecting and analysing reports of terrorist activities. h following questions were asked:’
What is the main platform which the radical groups are using?
What is purpose of using social media platforms by the radical groups?
How does social media is helping the radical groups?
Whether the radical groups succeeded in achieving their targets or not?
What was the response of the youth to radical groups campaign on social media?
Does the Twitter messages are used by ISIS for their strategic goals?
This research is being conducted for the duration of three months that is for the month of June, July and august 2017. This research analysed the usage of social media by the individuals of age 22-30 years and also analysed that whether they are influenced by the social media messages by the radical groups or not. This research analysed the usage of social media by the radical groups in terrorism activities by collecting and analysing reports of terrorist activities. Although it was found that ISIS has 13000 social media accounts. Research was collaging with Mohammad Bin Maid care centre and there was difficulty with collecting data.
This part of the paper is devoted to the overview of the most significant studies in the current research field pertaining to the growth of the jihadist groups in the social media platforms and subsequent preventive measures that may be used as the instrument of the restriction of accessibility of jihadists to the communication with young people of the Middle East region.
Usage of social media and its grooming in terrorism activities
Since the new generation is using the internet and the social media platforms to a great extent (Yasir et al., 2016). So the terrorist groups also started using social media for targeting and recruiting the youth of the country to join them and spread terrorism in the countries. Through social media platforms terrorist groups can reach to a significant number of people which they could not do through any other medium. Firstly Al-Qaeda group started using social media for spreading terrorism but the new terrorist group ISIS has revolutionized the use of social media in their terrorism activities (Ganjian & Zanuddin, 2017). They have started using social media up to a great extent and they are quite successful in their propaganda. The reasons for using social media by the radical group is that that through social media they can reach more people and it is an effective way of communicating their messages to the youth. These radical groups use social media for different purposes which includes recruiting the youth to join their teams, to spread propaganda and for their inter organization and inter teams communication (Awan, 2017).
Soon after the success of ISIS battlefield in Northern Iraq, the ISIS has developed a sophisticated strategy for social media to spread their propaganda in the world. There are numerous social media accounts that claim that they are representing ISIS and they are spreading ISIS messages through social media. ISIS has started a social media campaign through which they are posting videos and photos on social media to warn their enemies and to get the support of the other radical groups as well. ISIS is using mainly Twitter as a key platform for their social media campaign (Zanuddin & Mudjirin, 2017). A web-based database reported that a large number of pro-Isis tweets were posted in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf countries. In their Twitter feeds, Isis shows extensive details of its operations, including the number of bomb attacks, suicides attacks and other operations it has carried out, and of their checkpoints and area which they control (Taylor, 2016)
These radical groups also prepare promotional videos for promoting their operation and get the support of the communities and then they upload it on the social media platforms. They also show subtitles with their videos in order to reach more diversified viewers and to make them understand what are they saying. Isis has also launched a global online campaign on 20 June to support the group's operations in Iraq and Syria. The group also introduced a Twitter hashtag in Arabic which means the Friday of supporting ISIS, and asked their supporters around the world to rise Isis flag in public, make videos of themselves and upload their clips on social media platforms. In April 2014, the group also introduce a free app called The Dawn of Glad Tidings, which automatically posts tweets - approved by Isis media managers – on the accounts of the application's subscribed users. Almost 40,000 tweets were posted in one day during the recent clashes in Iraq. One post which got public attention was of an image of an armed jihadist waving the Isis flag flying over Mosul with the inscription in Arabic: "We are coming, Baghdad (Nakhla, 2016).
Challenges in Management of the Presence of ISIS in Social Media
According to Bockstette, after the events of September 9/11, the terrorists have started policy on the acquisition of power and governance through the new digital networks. This approach has been reflected in the relocation of such organizations as al-Qaida to the social media platforms where the communication infrastructure is developing (Watimin & Zanuddin, 2017). The author believes that the terrorist groups will benefit from the evolution of the information sector that is developed in favour the new model as networked mediated mass communications. Due to the fact that the terrorist formations allocated resources for the proliferation of their influence within the internet several years ago, this governance is quite high. In addition to this fact, it should be noted that the state authorities appear at the position of victims with weak background as the speed of exchange of the information within social media platforms is so high so that they cannot manage it. In fact, some years ago, the jihadist groups had quite restrictive access to the media resources due to the ability of the governments to maintain this restriction (Abdoulaye & H. Zanuddin, 2017). Moreover, the governments had power to force specific media resources to avoid publishing of terrorist related content. The most important of this paper in the fact that it discovers the development of strong jihadist influence in the social media and weakening of the management policies of the governments of different countries. The analysis of this study will ensure contemplation of the measures and recommendations for the state authorities that should be used for the withdrawal of certain content among youth of Saudi Arabia in reference to the jihadist formations (Bockstette, 2010).
The study by Huey (2015) on the radicalization of the activity of the terrorist groups within the social media platforms defines that these instruments enhance the powers of these terrorist formations to recruit youth in the most efficient way. According to the researcher, the social media is treated as the platform for the promotion of “jihadi cool” concept about the ISIS and other terrorist formations so that to expand amount of the followers and admirers. Among several methods that can be employed by the terrorist groups in the achievement of their recruitment and propaganda purposes, the use of the political jamming is seemed as the most useful and relevant. Consequently, this study shows that the governments usually face troubles in prosecution of the individuals that are liable for the proliferation of the pro-jihadist content within social media. With that, the analysis of the study facilitates investigation of the measures that can be developed and applied by the state executives for the reduction of the terrorist jamming involving politically sensitive issues (Abdoulaye & H Zanuddin, 2017). Through this study, the author remarkably points out on the proliferation of the video clips and photos about the attempts of Saudi Arabia to clamp down on the actions of the Islamist formations within the territory of the country. In response to these actions, the followers of the terrorist grouped have opted out to depict Saudi Arabia in disgusting and metaphorical way. In this respect, the contribution of this study to the accomplishment of the research paper appears in the fact that it shows the implications of the growing popularity of the social media where the state bodies of the developing countries as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lack resources for the supervision of the information that can undermine the status of the county in the political arena. The damage of the status occurs because of the formation of the specific attitude among the users of the social media so that the advancement of the strategic objectives of the country becomes partially impossible (Huey, 2015).
Usage of Social Media for Strategic Management:
In 2014 Hugo Asencio prepared extensive study on the investigation of the emerging institution of social media and its utilization in the non-profit sector. Through the examination of several pillars and features of the social media platforms, Asencio and his colleague came to the conclusion that the expansion of these communication tools has changed dramatically the process of interaction between the people. The same changes have occurred in relation to the functions of the state organizations in lobbying particular politics and protection of the rights of the members (Ganjian & Zanuddin, 2017). This study is crucial for this particular research paper because of the fact that its lists methods of the utilization of the social media, where the individuals and several organizations can oppress to the increasing pressure from the users of the social media platforms. The findings of this study will assist to the development of the recommendations to the government of Saudi Arabia and other stakeholders in protection of the local people from the spread of the inappropriate content as terrorist advertisements, video clips and other files (Asencio, 2015). In 2012 the UNODC as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has decided to consider the usage of the internet and several applications for the terrorist purposes. The decision of the intergovernmental body to assess the effects and role of the internet for the terrorist purposes was driver with the rapid evolution of this method of the communication. The importance of this study lies in the fact that it lists all possible means that are used by the terrorists in promotion of their strategies and objectives. In particular, it shows up that the most popular means within the Internet as propaganda, financing, training. As to the propaganda, the terrorists manage to distribute terrorism related content that is not properly prosecuted by the state authorities engaged in the counter-terrorism activities due to the opportunities it provides for these people. With that, the major attention of the terrorists as the ISIS followers is paid to the recruitment activities in the Internet (Almahallawi & Zanuddin, 2017). Moreover, the paper contains an overview of several case law, that has been considered recently in support of the improvement of the strategic management as means of the supervision over the proliferation of certain content with the social media platforms. Hence, this study is used as the model and recommendation for the development of the comprehensive policy of the supervision of the social media platforms in restriction terrorism relate content (UNDOC, 2012).
This particular study has been performed with concentration of the activities of the ISIS within social media platforms. The analysis of this study is important for the consideration of the effects brought by the increasing presence of the ISIS in the social media, while its influence over the behaviour of the young people has not been considered by the authors of this piece of paper. Besides, this paper manages to present data about the figures of foreigners attracted to the ISIS activities from the different countries so that is it possible to presume that the same tendency is applicable to the youth of Saudi Arabia (Almahallawi & Zanuddin, 2017). The authors of this study draw attention to the fact that the involvement of the foreigners in the ISIS activities brings several risks and challenges to the security of the domestic jurisdictions. In this respect, the authors believe that the state authorities of the most vulnerable zones should put efforts in the creation of the proper management strategies today (League, 2014).
In 2015 Blaker presented an extensive research about increasing presence of the ISIS in social media resources including Facebook, Twitter. The author of this study shares its findings that the main activity of the jihadists in the social media concerns on attraction of young people in support of the policy of the organization. The contribution of this study in the investigation of the messages that have been revealed by state authorities of some countries (Blaker, 2015).
The researcher from the Popular Science, Singer conducted analysis of evolution of communication of ISIS representatives with its perspective followers. According to scholar, some years one cannot imagine that it would be quite easy for the ISIS members to target any pupil residing in tiny town in the United States. The contribution of the paper is in noting examples of the use of social media by the ISIS as efficient weapon (Singer & Brooking, 2016).
The member of Citizens for Global Solutions NGO, Victoria Barrow brought the light in sphere of the investigation of the nature of the ISIS presence in the Internet. The author raises several importance questions that should be researched by society. Namely, in what manner the ISIS members manage to approach happy and bright people with its violent objectives. The use of this paper is justified with provision of understanding about the ISIS online recruitment while several questions remain open (Barrow, 2015).
The representatives of Daily Mail recently investigated the spread of terrorist related content within such social media platform as Twitter. The author asserts that jihadists manage to send about 100,000 Twitter messages about terrorism. In this respect, the author undermines the importance of collaboration between state bodies and private companies in prosecution proliferation of such content. The contribution of this paper to the research study lies in the fact that it points out on the role of development of technologies by state bodies as methods of management of encrypted tweets (Rung & Zanuddin, 2017). Encrypted tweets are believed to serve the role of primary mechanisms used by jihadists in recruiting of new followers from the Middle East countries. However, this study lacks plan of action that should be followed by the government in advancement of this strategic goals (Cahalan, 2015).
Maeghin Alarid, as the member of the Center for Complex Operations, considered in 2016 the causes of leaving of young people their homes in favour of promotion of the ISIS presence in several countries. The author focuses on the investigation of the effect of online radicalization as the primary approach of the ISIS in maintenance recruitment (Alarid, Ambikapathy, & Zanuddin, 2017).
In 2016 the members of the Camstoll Group prepared deliberate study on the evaluation of the use of social media by the terrorist financial bodies and investors. The main strength of this paper is in the evaluation of the limitations faced by terrorist formations in expansion of its activity due to the efforts of the governments of some countries to limit exposure to terrorism (Camstoll, 2016).
The social media is developing with rapid growth. In this respect, over the last few years the terrorist and other terrorism groups confirmed its shift from the conventional media resources to the usage of YouTube as the most convenient method of distribution terrorism related content to Facebook and Twitter. The preference of terrorist to the usage of media platforms grounds on the ability to stay in touch with ISIS followers as sensitive information is distributed too fast within the Internet. With that, the choice of Facebook and Twitter ground on the fact that they provide protection over the personal information stored in these accounts. Moreover, it is not a clear fact as to whether ISIS accounts will be terminated upon the request of certain state body. The usage of content analysis methodology confirmed the efficient capabilities and functions of Twitter. These functions are used by several organizations with the purpose to reach external audience. By virtue of Twitter is it possible to address large-scale movements and this option is regarded as the most preferable benefit for the ISIS formation (Hopke, 2015). With that, social movement has been relocated to new platforms beyond the traditional living of the people. According to Passini (2012), the Internet and several subsequent applications play the role of vital tool for increasing involvement of young people in resolution of specific political issues. By virtue of this study, it is possible to define instruments of influence over the behaviour and minds of young people that are pursued by the jihadists in the communication with young people (Passini, 2012).
The analysis of the essence of the communication between young people of Saudi Arabia and ISIS representatives is possible with reference to the mere nature of “grooming”. In fact, this activity implies certain form of manipulation exercised by the members of radical groups against the young people. Understanding of the scope of this particular activity on behalf of the ISIS followers will contribute to the ability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to oppress to this threat in full. The amount of cases involving grooming has sparked over the last few years. There is no direct confirmation of the fact that ISIS expanded grooming activities specifically in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the official statistics prove that the ISIS people are quite careful in the submission of their messages to the young people. In this respect, there is no data about scope of grooming activities performed by ISIS. However, it is possible to presume that young people of Saudi Arabia are victims of social media grooming based on the amount of twitter messages and other flows of the communication across social media platforms in Saudi Arabia. Figure
The scope of the investigation reflected in Figure
According to the data reflected in Figure
In 2016 the group of researchers focused on examination of rapid growth of the ISIS expansion in Twitter. For the purposes of the investigation of the capabilities of the ISIS, the researchers attempted to assess all Arabic tweets pertaining to pro-ISIS and anti-ISIS positions (Magdy, Darwish, & Weber, 2015). Accordingly, through the application of the content analysis methodology, it follows that ISIS brings common message to several people of different countries through the social media platforms. The researchers state that termination of Twitter accounts with propaganda of ISIS is draining activity (Goel, 2015). According to Danny Yadron, as the researcher engaged in the examination of the role of the management of Twitter in prosecution of ISIS, the company is not going to be liable for rapid expansion of the ISIS in social media. The findings of this paper have paramount importance as they show negative side of the founders of social media platforms that inherently support the existence of the ISIS in virtual framework as contribution to the status of this platform (Yadron, 2016). In 2014, Gabriel Weimann, the Full Professor of Communication at the Department of Communication at Haifa University, conducted analysis of new forms of terrorism and media. With finalization of the study, the author came to the conclusion that all terrorist formations are concentrated on social media as efficient platforms for promotion of its interested. In support of this position, terrorist groups attract more investors (Weimann, 2014).
The applied content analysis revealed the importance of new media. It is higher for terrorist formations because of the benefits it brings (Conway & McInerney, 2012). According to Weimann, as the researcher in the sustainable development issues, the development of social media gives rise to several social disruptions. In this respect, he claims that terrorist groups manage to divide society in several groups because of political preferences (Weimann, 2016). In 2016 Wright and colleagues attempted to measure level of activity participation of jihadists in attraction of new followers through social media channels. The researchers draw attention to the fact that some advanced economies succeeded in termination of several accounts of jihadists (Wright, Denney, Pinkerton, Jansen, & Bryden, 2016). Consequently, it should be noted that the President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haas asserts that today Saudi Arabia is passing through severe transition period. The flawed performance of the government attracts jihadists that decided to increase its presence in the country and recruit new followers. The main strengths and contribution of this paper is that author notes that major flaws in the current strategy of the Saudi Arabian government in oppression to the ISIS activities (Haas, 2015).
There needs to be more focus on other areas of media. Terrorist organizations and terrorists are very adapted with technology and innovation. The results from the research could also indicate the need for regulations for media and how they should cover story that may provide publicity to terrorists. It is critical for technology and media to evolve the same way terrorist organizations evolve. Terrorist organizations are big fans of new technology and new ways to deliver their messages. Unfortunately, terrorists use the same tools we and our children use online to keep in touch with family and friends. It is the responsibility of social media companies and search engine companies, like "Google" to filter ISIS related content and counter those who view or search for these materials. It is not an easy task and it will require the collaboration of people, tech companies and the government to make it a success. Also, as a recommendation, universities across the world especially in media major should start discussing terrorist news and how it should be covered. These schools can actually offer a major that focuses primarily on the coverage of terrorists based content and the positive as well as the negative effects from covering these kinds of materials. Students who graduate from this major will join the mainstream media whether it is on TV, Social media, or the Web. These students will have the knowledge and skills to cover such materials without helping groups like ISIS get free publicity. Also, cooperation must be needed between the media and the government on what and when to report when it comes to terrorism and they may work out guidelines to limit access on events and when to release related information so that the need for security and the need for full coverage can be balanced. Governments and the media must work together and develop a long-term intellectual strategy so that they can defeat terrorists through traditional and social media.
This study found that since new generation is using the internet and the social media platforms to a great extent so the terrorist groups also started using social media for targeting and recruiting the youth of the country to join them and spread terrorism in the countries. Through social media platforms terrorist groups can reach to a significant number of people which they could not do through any other medium. Firstly Al-Qaeda group started using social media for spreading terrorism but the new terrorist group ISIS has revolutionized the use of social media in their terrorism activities. One of the most commonly used social media platforms by these radical groups is Twitter. These radical group film their operations and then upload them in order to warn their enemies and to get the support of communities. In the contemporary society, the terrorist groups have access to several media resources and social media platforms. Unlimited accessibility to these resources gives rise to the representatives of these organizations to create own content and broadcasting channels so that to promote fear among the people. Several media resources are found useful for terrorists as the attitude of people changes and they become reluctant to follow radical ideas. In addition to this fact, the researchers agree on the fact that today media sector is featured with fierce competition between different types of media for attention of the audience. As the result of this competition, the activity of mass media sector may be described as hyper-sensationalized because of the attitude of these resources to address terrorism events. Moreover, the media business is contingent upon the ratings as the direct source of revenue. In this respect, the willingness of media resources to address terrorism content will be present until this information will bring profit to the media sector. In case journalists will be ready to describe terrorism with appropriate emotional features, the audience will be kept in fear. Hence, there is a need to conduct additional investigation of the ability of media resources to oppress to biased nature of the interaction between media and terrorism.
The investigation of the new tendency to social grooming of young people by the ISIS reaffirms the importance of the development of new strategies against distribution of the terrorism related content created by ISIS. In addition, there is a strong relationship between the development of social media and presence of the jihadists in the Internet resources. The overview of the available studies through content analysis approaches shows the importance of the implementation of the efficient management practices in restriction of the access of the ISIS representatives to social media resources including Twitter, YouTube and others. In fact, the management policy of the government of the emerging markets in the Middle East region should aim to diminish relationship between distribution of certain content within social media platforms and continuous growth of the communication of the radical groups with the young people of Saudi Arabia. The consideration of the secondary data pertaining to the regulation of the social media environment against rising presence of the ISIS defines that this correlation may be breached in case the government of Saudi Arabia will follow approach of the leadership of Twitter and Facebook in termination of the hazardous accounts. It follows that the governments of the middle East countries should file requests to the managers of the social media applications and platforms to limit accessibility of the ISIS representatives to these communication tools. This implies that supervision and additional checks should be introduced by the supervisors of the accounts in the social media platforms so to deter registration of the dangerous content or person at the initial stage. By virtue of the implementation of these actions, one may presume that the volume of the terrorism related content will become subject of strict regulation and will produce fruitful results to the life of the young people in the Middle East region. Besides, there is risk that the ISIS representatives will find out several other measures in pursuit of its strategic objectives pertaining to recruit of young people. Given the inventory nature of the actions of the ISIS people, it is clear that social grooming of young people within social media platforms should be prevented before its unlimited spread in order to protect the rest of the community and save numerous lives.
The analysis of available studies through the content analysis methodology shows that Twitter is used preferable for several purposes by terrorist. The most common reasons of using Twitter by ISIS and other terrorism groups is the ability to conduct recruitment and indoctrination of several people residing in different jurisdictions. Moreover, Twitter enhances an opportunity for ISIS followers to create global community favoring violent extremism and terrorism activities. In addition to this interaction between terrorism and social media, it should be noted that Twitter is used with the purpose to contribute to the overall traffic pertaining to the distribution of terrorist related content on daily basis. In the meantime, there is no common strategy that may describe selection of media resources by ISIS followers in promotion of specific content. This implies that the major focus of Twitter messages and other communication is limited to the attraction of different people to support terrorism in different forms. In order to achieve these strategies, the ISIS and other terrorist use video, audio files and photos of different content with the purpose to promote own strategies and objectives. it is possible to claim that Twitter is used by ISIS and its followers with the purpose to distribute propaganda. Moreover, the original terrorist messages are coded and translated into relevant information that cannot be understood by any person not related with ISIS activities.
As the study found that the use of social media by the radical groups is increasing and the radical groups has enhanced their activities on social media so the following recommendation are put forward in order to minimize the use of social media by the radical groups.
Rules and regulation should be made to identify the activities of the radical groups.
Law enforcement agencies should be provided with the resources to stop the messages and content of such radical groups.
The government needs to trace the location of such terrorist groups and to arrest them. They also needs to contact the social media companies to block such accounts.
Saudi Government can contact social media companies to join hands with them and identify such type of terrorist activities on their social media platforms and report the locations and the contents of the terrorist messages to the national security agencies
They should provide financial assistance to those groups who are preventing the negative usage of social medial by radical groups.
The government can also use these social media platforms to stop these teenagers from being affected by the messages and activities of the radical groups by running an awareness program on different social media platforms.
The government needs to spread awareness in the youth regarding the activities of radical groups on social media.
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18 December 2019
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Alyousef*, Y., & Zanuddin, H. (2019). Social Media Grooming: Relationship Of Social Media, Youth And Terrorism In Ksa. In & M. Imran Qureshi (Ed.), Technology & Society: A Multidisciplinary Pathway for Sustainable Development, vol 40. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 236-250). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.05.20