While Twitter chases ISIS accounts away, it allows homegrown extremists to thrive

Quartz reports: Twitter has earned a reputation for being a recruiting ground for the Islamic State, but the terror group only represents a fraction of the site’s extremist landscape.

White nationalists and self-identified Nazi supporters — who’ve been around much longer than ISIL — have grown their follower count more than six-fold over the last four years, according to a new study published by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. With ISIL’s social media tactics gaining traction in 2014, other groups have mimicked its propaganda techniques to further their reach. Currently, the white extremist accounts post tweets more often than their ISIL counterparts.

The researchers first identified the most prominent white nationalist organizations and leaders, who had a strong offline presence too. Then, they downloaded accounts following these influencers — over 25,000 of them — and scraped the 200 most recent tweets from them. In 2012, the same technique had yielded only 3,500 accounts. [Continue reading…]

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