After the tragic events in Paris, the group Anonymous hacked and shut down 5,000 Twitter accounts held by Islamic State sympathizers, with a great deal of media attention. But Twitter itself and various security agencies (including Europol) had already been using similar strategies to limit the group’s followers’ ability to spread propaganda via social networks.
Clearly their main and common aim was to neutralize the Islamic State’s ability to use Twitter to reach far beyond its own narrow audience, and to reduce the violent radicals’ ability to manipulate public opinion and attract new recruits and sympathizers.
This article was first published in the Monkey Cage at The Washington Post on 10th December 2015. Please visit the Washington Post website to read the rest of this article.