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By analyzing 26.2 million Twitter comments in the Arabic language, researchers found that despite losing territory, ISIS remains successful at inspiring low-level attacks because of its messaging for a "call for lone jihad." The study, "ISIS at its apogee: The Arabic discourse about support for ISIS on Twitter and what we can learn from that," was recently published in SAGE Open.
The researchers analyzed Tweets from July 2014 to January 2015, when ISIS's strength reached its peak and the group was expanding its territory. Assessing the connection between ongoing events and Tweet timing, the researchers found:
Media - Coverage - Support - ISIS - Online
1. Heavy media coverage leads to increased expressed support of ISIS online.
2. When online conversations surrounding ISIS surged, many individuals who did not normally engage in the debate entered to express their negative views towards the group.
Support - Changes - Target - Action - Example
3. Online support changes according to the target of action. For example, terrorist groups often gain legitimacy by claiming they are...
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