Briefing Note: ‘El Rubio’ Lives: The Challenge Of Arabic Language Extremist Content On Social Media Platforms’

Briefing Note: El Rubio’ Lives: The Challenge Of Arabic Language Extremist Content On Social Media Platforms

By Moustafa Ayad
Deputy Director, Technology, Communications and Education at ISD

This briefing outlines research uncovering thousands of users viewing extremist content in Arabic language across mainstream social platforms including Facebook and YouTube

The findings emerged as world leaders, policy makers, and technology companies gathered in Jordan earlier this month to discuss counter-terrorism and extremism as part of the Aqaba Process and the convening of the Global Internet Forum for Countering Terrorism (GIFCT).

Researchers identified:

• More than 77 pieces of Arabic content promoting influential Islamist extremists from al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as well as affiliates for both organizations, and precursors to both groups on both YouTube and Facebook;
• More than 275,000 users have watched the videos on both Facebook and YouTube;
• The research finds evidence of Islamist extremist supporters sharing content between sites, spreading the content further than their primary YouTube Channels and/or Facebook pages and groups. Approximately 138 individual users have shared links from the YouTube to their networks on Facebook.

For further information, please contact [email protected]

DOWNLOAD THE BRIEFING PAPER HERE

A joint statement on the Online Harms White Paper and the direction of regulation in the UK

ISD has submitted expert advice for the consultation on the UK Government’s Online Harms White Paper, which lays out the stated design for regulation of technology companies in the UK. As part of this effort, ISD has worked with leading UK research and civil society organisations including Carnegie UK, Demos, Doteveryone, the Fawcett Society, and the Jo Cox Foundation to produce a joint statement on the Online Harms White Paper and the direction of regulation in the UK.