Terrorism and social media  

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Terrorism, fear, and media are interconnected. Terrorists use the media to advertise their attacks and or messages, and the media uses terrorism events to further aid their ratings. Both promote unwarranted propaganda that instills mass amounts of public fear. The leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, discussed weaponization of media in a letter written after his organization committed the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In that letter, Bin Laden stated that fear was the deadliest weapon. He noted that Western civilization has become obsessed with mass media, quickly consuming what will bring them fear. He further stated that societies are bringing this problem on their own people by giving media coverage an inherent power.

In relation to one’s need for media coverage, Al Qaeda and other militant Jihadi terrorist organizations can be classified as a far-right radical offshoot of mainstream mass media. The Jihad needs to conceptualize their martyrdom by leaving behind manifestos and live videos of their attacks; it is crucially important to them that their ill deeds are being covered by news media.

The components the media looks for to deem the news “worthy” enough to publicize are categorized into ten qualities; terrorists usually exceed half in their attacks. These include: Immediacy, Conflict, Negativity, Human Interest, Photographability, Simple Story Lines, Topicality, Exclusivity, Reliability, and Local Interest. Historically, morality and profitability are two motivations which are not easily weighed when delivering news; recent news coverage has become far more motivated in making money for their parent corporation than serving as a defender of truth, doing true journalistic fact-finding, and shielding the public from news which is sensational, outright untrue, or politically-motivated propaganda.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Terrorism and social media" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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