1. NEW by me, @ShirazMaher, and @charliewinter for @crest_research.

Anyone paying to ISIS channels on Telegram in 2019 noticed something strange in late November: they started to disappear en masse. We decided to take a closer look at the data. crestresearch.ac.uk/resources/how-…
2. These kinds of campaigns by Europol and social media platforms had happened before, and researchers either didn’t notice much impact on Isis presence online or noticed that ISIS channels came back pretty quickly. November 2019 was different.
3. They didn’t come back. They started experimenting with other platforms, supporters started freaking out and scrambling. I asked a Europol official about what was happening. 👇🏽ctc.usma.edu/view-ct-foxhol…
4. Then we started looking into the data. I had been collecting ISIS data on telegram for several years and was collecting throughout the Europol campaign.
5. This paper is based on this on dataset containing 7.8 million Telegram posts collected from 1,911 jihadist channels and groups.
6. The paper aims to understand the impact of the 2018 and 2019 Europol Action Days – first, what they meant for the health and size of said jihadist networks on Telegram and second, how they impacted on the phenomenon of migration to other platforms.
7/7. I know “ISIS online” seems kind of quaint given other crazy shit going on. But hopefully you find it useful. crestresearch.ac.uk/resources/how-…
8/8. Also thanks so much to @pieternanninga, @azelin, one anonymous reviewer, and all the people at @crest_research for their comments and feedback on earlier drafts of this paper.

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More from @AmarAmarasingam

10 Jan
1. (THREAD) So, it seems like the deplatforming debate is once again kicking off, so I thought I would introduce some of the earlier work that was done in this area back when ISIS was buck wild on social media. What have we learned over the last six years might be useful today:
2. One of the earliest studies that discussed the impact of suspensions of ISIS accounts was @intelwire and Morgan's piece: The ISIS Twitter Consensus.

They found that suspensions did have an impact on replies and retweets and overall dissemination. brookings.edu/wp-content/upl…
3. After suspensions, the die-hard supporters dedicated themselves to creating new accounts, but others whittled away: “it appears the pace of account creation has lagged behind the pace of suspensions”
Read 17 tweets
8 Jan
“After close review of recent Tweets from Trump’s account and context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence” blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/c…
Read 5 tweets
29 Dec 20
1. My new piece for @Slate on election violence in the US, but a look at one peculiar reason for why we haven't seen much of it so far. slate.com/news-and-polit…
2. When it comes to conspiracy theories, most of the academic literature looks at why people tend to be attracted to them, and the kinds of impact they have on behavior.
3. Study after study has shown that people who deeply believe in conspiracy theories are less likely to vote, less likely to vaccinate their children, have dwindling levels of trust in government and expert systems, and are generally unlikely to donate money or volunteer.
Read 8 tweets
10 Nov 20
1. Some of the post-election conversations in the US sound a lot like the post-conflict zone conversations I’ve heard in various countries I’ve studied and worked in. Quick thread on why the next few months are going to be very difficult:
2. I don’t need to re-cite all the articles here, but I think most of us agree with the premise that there was something qualitatively different about the Trump era.
3. I have a lot to say about reconciliation in this context, but let’s just focus on something preliminary and basic for now: conversations about post-conflict reconciliation often naturally create two camps:
Read 12 tweets
6 Nov 20
1. There's good research on conspiracy theories, which shows for example that 400,000 people would need to be "in" on the lie for the moon landing to have been faked.

Same logic applies here:
2. Can you imagine how many people would have to be in on the lie to steal an election with 144 million votes?

How many of your neighbors, grandparents, random twenty year old volunteers, would all have to be part of some big cover up?
3. And THEN, to make sure the cover up isn't too obvious, you make sure that you lose a bunch of seats in House, and make sure the Senate isn't a landslide.

Make sure that as votes are counted, that several thousand go to Trump. Cus, you don't want to raise suspicion, you see.
Read 5 tweets
28 Oct 20
1. There has been a lot of talk about QAnon and a well-known body of work in the sociology of religion/social psychology called the “failure of prophecy”.

A new piece by me and @_MAArgentino for @RDispatches, and a short thread: religiondispatches.org/qanons-predict…
2. As @travis_view noted, earlier this month there was anticipation in QAnon circles about the imminent return of JFK Jr.
3. He of course didn’t return. He’s very dead and has been dead for some time. It’s not the first time QAnon followers predicted something which never happened. And it won’t be the last:
Read 16 tweets

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