In light of the exerted international efforts to encounter terrorism in reality and on virtual platforms, a recent study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will enable the detection of new extremists through monitoring their accounts on social media websites.
The researchers accrued Twitter data from around 5,000 “seed” users, who were either clearly identified as Islamic State members or who were friends or followers of ISIS members.
The researchers reviewed the content of 4.8 million tweets taken out from the timelines of these users, in addition to pursuing account suspensions, as they were being formed by al Qaeda and Daesh sympathizers.
Using these mechanisms and relying on algorithms, the research managed to include the construction of a bot that could detect potential extremists.
“We created a new set of operational capabilities to deal with the threat posed by online extremists in social networks,” said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher E. Marks of the U.S. Army.
“We are able to predict who is an extremist before they post any content, and then able to predict where they will re-enter the network after they are suspended,” Marks added. “In short, we can automatically figure out who is an extremist and keep them off the social network.”
This research coincides with EU Commission’s proposal of a regulation to allow social media companies like Twitter and YouTube 60 minutes to remove flagged extremist or terrorist content, or face a fine.