The site’s recommendations engine is a boon for al Qaeda recruiters:
Let’s say your interest in terrorism was sparked by al Qaeda’s newest affiliate, the Syrian group Jabhat al-Nusra. So you follow their well-publicized Twitter account. … Armed with its knowledge of your interest in terrorism, Twitter slowly moves the Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers down the list [of recommended accounts], while moving hardcore terrorists and extremists higher and higher. Twitter’s recommendations are the cream of the crop, all the essential accounts a budding terrorist might want to discover. But it’s not just the low-hanging fruit. The more focused your initial follows are, the more specific the recommendations. Further experimentation shows that if you know one honest-to-God terrorist online, Twitter will cheerfully connect you with many others.
And it’s not just jihadists. Following the American Nazi Party serves up an equally compelling menu of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and violent terrorist groups. It doesn’t matter what twisted ideology you’re interested in, Twitter is there to help you get connected.
But al-Qaeda isn’t totally up on its social media savvy:
Last night, an al Qaeda affiliate asked its loyal Twitter followers for suggestions to help with Public Relations, and the Twitter hive mind answered. A linguist fluent in Arabic tells Business Insider the original hashtag translated to “#Suggestions_to_Develop_Jihadist_Media”. J.M. Berger, a counter terrorism expert who wrote the book “Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Jihad,” started the trolling with this tweet:
Hey everybody, Al Qaeda is using this hashtag to solicit ideas for media ops #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي — you should all send some.
— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 13, 2013
Leading inevitably to:
Get ready for fun with cool but relatable brand spokesman "Pal Qaeda" #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي—
Brandon Wilder (@spankthemoney) August 14, 2013
Have you considered creating a boy band?
Beau Scheier (@BeauScheier) August 14, 2013
And the Dish fave:
1) Use a false interpretation of an old text to justify killing innocent people. 2) ???? 3) PROPHET! ! #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي
— Marc Solomon (@magicbravosolo) August 14, 2013