Extremist Content Online: Pro-ISIS Group Returns to YouTube
Terror Group Also Releases Videos in Africa; Far Right Extremists Promote Violence on Telegram
(New York, N.Y.) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. This week, CEP identified an ISIS video from War and Media Agency on YouTube. Additionally, the terror group released several videos from Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and numerous extreme right Telegram channels promoted violence against Jews and politicians.
Pro-ISIS War and Media Agency Account Returns to YouTube
An account for the pro-ISIS media group War and Media Agency was activated on July 12, with one video uploaded that day, and another uploaded on July 16. In an attempt to circumvent YouTube’s Community Guidelines, War and Media Agency content claims to be either a documentary news program or states that the video is for “news and educational purposes only.” The account was removed by YouTube after being online for approximately one week.
“Progress has been made in removing terror groups such as ISIS from mainstream social media platforms, but this upload shows that the work isn’t finished,” said CEP researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch. “ISIS’s supporters savvy usage of online propaganda is on display here, as these YouTube videos adeptly avoid the obvious markers for automatic removal. There are no immediately recognizable on screen graphics and the video contains low quantities of official ISIS content; its affiliation to the terror group was identified through listening to the narration and comparing the channel to previous similar examples. This is why there must always be a human component to content removal policies.”
The videos uploaded in July 2019 contain ISIS propaganda photos and Amaq News statements, as well as images from other sources. As of July 18, one video had 355 views, and the other had 219.
War And Media Agency Video On YouTube, Drive, July 18, 2019
New ISIS Video Released from Tunisia
On July 16, ISIS’s self-proclaimed province in Tunisia released a video from its “The Best Outcome is for the Pious” series. The video includes calls for patience and steadfastness by ISIS members, as well as for attacks against civilians in states belonging to the country’s anti-ISIS coalition, including in tourist areas. It concludes with different groups of fighters in Tunisia reaffirming their allegiance to ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In addition to Telegram, the video was released on at least 26 websites: Google Drive, ownCloud, Sendvid, Mediafire, the Microsoft One Drive, Top4top, Amazon Drive, Anonfile, the Internet Archive, Bayfiles, mail.ru, Dailymotion, file.fm, mega.nz, Megaup, ok.ru, Streamable, transfer.sh, tune.pk, Dalfalk, Dropbox, Vidio, Zippyshare, Myspace, Yadi.sk, and Zupload. Approximately 36 hours later, the video was still available on at least 17 websites: ownCloud, Mediafire, Top4top, Anonfile, the Internet Archive, Bayfiles, mail.ru, file.fm, Megaup, ok.ru, Streamable, transfer.sh, Dalfalk, Vidio, Zippyshare, Myspace, and Zupload.
“The Best Outcome Is For The Pious” On Vidio, July 18, 2019
ISIS Amaq News Video Released from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
On July 14, ISIS released a video via the Amaq News Agency that allegedly shows the bodies of dead soldiers from the Congolese Army following an attack near the city of Beni in eastern Congo. In addition to Telegram, the video was uploaded to at least 10 websites: Sendvid, Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, Top4top, the Internet Archive, Dailymotion, file.fm, Mega.nz, Streamable, and Tune.pk. Approximately four days later, the video was still available on Amazon Cloud Drive, and Top4top.
Extreme Right Telegram Channels Promote Violence Against Jews, Politicians, Drag Queen Story Hour Events
CEP researchers have located numerous examples of extreme right-wing Telegram channels encouraging violence. One channel with more than 480 subscribers posted an image on July 15 calling for violence using a modified image of a woman wearing a kippah taken from a recent Ohio rally allegedly against immigration raids. Another channel with over 250 subscribers posted a graphic promoting the murder of politicians consisting of bullets with accompanying text reading “Get us close, and send all of us at once. Every single one. We’ll make sure that m*therf*cker NEVER signs another law EVER again.” Another Telegram channel, with over 450 subscribers, posted an image based on a popular meme, urging shooting attacks against libraries hosting Drag Queen Story Hour events. An additional Telegram channel with over 1,000 subscribers posted instructions on building pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs on July 14.
Courtesy: Counter Extremism Project