Does Terrorism Still Need Mass Media?

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Terrorism and the Internet and Social Media In order to create narratives, terrorists and extremists utilize the Internet and social media very well (Zacharia 2012). They know and realize that the Internet can reach a larger number of audiences even to their private spaces. Furthermore, the existence of social media has given further access to terrorists to directly communicate to their followers, supporters, and future recruits. Prof. Gabriel Weimann of the University of Haifa’s Communications Department believed that 90 percent of organized terrorism activities on the Internet is occurring on social network websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and many others (Lapin 2012). In those social media websites, they are recruiting, inspiring, and guiding global strategies not only by Internet operations but also through an organized, continues infusion of propaganda videos and call­to­action messages circulated via social media platforms (Kunkle 2012). Consequently, in this perspective, it is true that “the important role the Internet and social networking sites play in advancing violent extremist narratives” (House 2011: 9; in Neumann 2013: 432). Regarding terrorism and the Internet, Weimann (2006) differentiates between activities that intended to build support and produce publicity (communicative uses), and those that encourage acts of terrorism (instrumental uses). Firstly, “communicative uses” are when terrorists use the Internet to reach their audiences. Due to its potential to reach a large number of people, the Internet has utilized by terrorists and violent extremists to publish and expose their causes. In addition, they also generate political support and recruit new followers on the Internet. Secondly, terrorists a... ... middle of paper ... ...t and train members, communicate and conspire, plan and launch attacks. Although the Internet has been a great facility for terrorists and violent extremists to reach their audiences, it most likely that they still need mass media to gain huge publicity. It is true that they now can bypass mass media by creating their own channel on the Internet, but, in fact, since there are some restrictions and limitation on the Internet, they cannot be fully relied on it. The Internet might be important to reach their followers and supporters; however, terrorists and violent activists would still need mass media in order to generate messages of terror; to create a state of fear. Another reason is that of governments or enterprises usually own mass media, the coverage of terror attacks by mass media also means the symbol of the terrorism victory over the governments and public.

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