This document aims to provide guidance for the use of social media in market, social and opinion research.
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This journal article details the shift of al-Qaeda style propaganda operations from closed membership forums to mainstream social networking platforms. The authors, using social network analysis (SNA), show how 41 YouTube users associated with the incarnations of the British al-Muhajiroun, a radical Islamist group, post propaganda and violent content. In turn, the authors highlight how Europeans spreading such content use platforms and domain names registered with American companies to evade European laws against incitement and hate speech, protecting themselves under the First Amendment.
The YouTube Jihadists: A Social Network Analysis of Al-Muhajiroun’s Propaganda Campaign is useful for researchers attempting to understand the migration of terrorist promoters and supporters from online forums to social media, the creation of redundant social media networks for proselytization by radical Islamists, the impact of country law on the ability of law enforcement to curtail the distribution of terrorist material, and the utility of social network analysis as a diagnostic tool for terrorism studies.