ISIS: STATE OF TERROR
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Monday, August 18, 2014
For Global Jihadist Supporters, Islamic State's Massacre Wipes Out Any Sympathy Over U.S. StrikesThe self-styled Islamic State dealt sparked a major backlash among global jihadists online who were incensed by its reported massacre of 700 tribe members, mostly civilians, in Deir Ezzor province in Syria.
Negative hashtag references to the Islamic State, using the derogatory Arabic acronym Daash, soared from Aug. 8 to Aug. 18, increasing by 44 percent. When hashtags referring to Daash along with a reference to the massacre specifically were included in the count, the total soared by 85 percent.
The surge in negative sentiment toward IS took place concurrently with airstrikes on the self-proclaimed caliphate by both the United States and the Assad regime and during the period during which Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped down, which IS has claimed as a victory.
In other words, IS not only managed to completely erase all the goodwill it might have accrued from battling jihadists' hated enemies, but it added considerable negatives on top of that.
Hashtags related to U.S. strikes on IS surfaced in the top 100 hashtags during the August 8 collection period, but they disappeared in the August 18 period.
Methodology: I looked at the most recent 200 tweets from approximately 7,500 Twitter accounts that were followed by 22 prominent jihadist fundraisers on Twitter (as well as the tweets of the fundraisers themselves), analyzing a total of somewhat less than 3 million tweets for each collection period, which included a substantial amount of overlap from one period to the next.
From those tweets, I extracted the most popular Arabic hashtags used by members of the network to refer to jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. Two of the original seed accounts were suspended by Twitter, most recently Hajjaj al Ajmi, but there is so much overlap among the accounts that it made only a fraction of a percent of difference in the number of tweets examined.
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