A Brookings Institute report warns that as many as 46,000 twitter accounts may be operated by ISIS.
The 68-page report, which was released this month, underlines the potential scale of ISIS’ social media presence, even as companies such as Twitter clamp down on the group’s twisted activities. The micro-blogging site recently took the decision to suspend at least 2,000 accounts linked to the brutal terror group and its supporters.
The report says that between the time frame of September and December of 2014, at least 46,000 accounts were used by supporters of the terrorist group ISIS, although not all were in use at the same time.
The report, however, warns that the 46,000 number is a conservative estimate. “Our maximum estimate is in the neighborhood of 70,000 accounts; however, we believe the truth is closer to the low end of the range,” wrote J.M. Berger and Jonathan Morgan, the report’s authors.
The accounts have an average of 1,004 followers, the report said.
“Much of ISIS’s social media success can be attributed to a relatively small group of hyperactive users, numbering between 500 and 2,000 accounts, which tweet in concentrated bursts of high volume,” wrote Berger and Morgan.
The report also found that the “typical” supporter was located in the ISIS territories of Iraq and Syria as well as other areas “contested by ISIS.” One in five supporters chose English as their preferred language and three-quarters selected Arabic.
The Brookings Institution report is based on a sample of 20,000 accounts believed to be comprised of at least 93 percent ISIS supporters.