Examining Botnet Behaviors for Propaganda Dissemination: A Case Study of ISIL's Beheading Videos-Based Propaganda

Samer Al-Khateeb, Nitin Agarwal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since the dissemination of the first beheading video by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) of its hostage James Foley (an American journalist), this practice has become increasingly common. Videos of ISIL beheading their hostages in orange jumpsuits swarmed over social media as they swept across Iraq. By showing such shocking videos and images, ISIL is able to spread their opinions and create emotional attitudes for their followers. Through a sophisticated social media strategy and strategic use of botnets, ISIL is succeeding in its propaganda dissemination. ISIL is using social media as a tool to conduct recruitment and radicalization campaigns and raise funds. In this study, we examine the reasons for creating such videos grounded in the literature from cultural anthropology, transnationalism and religious identity, and media & communication. Toward this direction, we collect data from Twitter for the beheadings done by ISIL, especially the Egyptian Copts, the Arab-Israeli «Spy», and the Ethiopian Christians. The study provides insights into the way ISIL uses social media (especially Twitter) to disseminate propaganda and develop a framework to identify sociotechnical behavioral patterns from social and computational science perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 15th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshop, ICDMW 2015
EditorsXindong Wu, Alexander Tuzhilin, Hui Xiong, Jennifer G. Dy, Charu Aggarwal, Zhi-Hua Zhou, Peng Cui
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages51-57
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781467384926
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 29 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event15th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshop, ICDMW 2015 - Atlantic City, United States
Duration: Nov 14 2015Nov 17 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - 15th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshop, ICDMW 2015

Conference

Conference15th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshop, ICDMW 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlantic City
Period11/14/1511/17/15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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