Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Program Name

Public Administration

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Christi Bartman

Abstract

Terrorist groups are increasingly turning to social media to recruit, raise funds, and spread propaganda in support of their cause. One group, the Islamic State, has used social media, especially Twitter, as a vehicle to recruit thousands of foreign fighters and their future brides, disseminate their violent ideology, and incite and inspire others to commit terrorist attacks in their name. The results of this study indicate that there are many initiatives and strategies the government could undertake to reduce the online reach and power of terrorist groups like ISIS. These initiatives should include more collaboration with and cooperation from the social media companies themselves. The research also found that should there be little cooperation, there are remedies through existing law and potential amendments to existing law that could force social media companies to better monitor their platforms for extremist content and take down violent material in order to help the government and intelligence agencies better protect the nation’s security.

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