Osama bin Laden fan clubs build online communities

More scaremongering, this time from USA Today (article by Kasie Hunt):

Al-Qaeda sympathizers are using Orkut, a popular, worldwide Internet service owned by Google, to rally support for Osama bin Laden, share videos and Web links promoting terrorism and recruit non-Arabic-speaking Westerners, according to terrorism experts and a survey of the sites.

It then goes on to discuss Reporters Sans Frontieres, online terrorist videos and bans of the Orkut community by Iran.

Reporters Without Borders, a press freedom advocacy group, notes in a recent report that Internet use has grown faster in Iran than in any other Middle Eastern country, largely because of its political potential. “Weblogs are much used at times of crisis, such as during the June 2003 student demonstrations, when they were the main source of news about the protests and helped the students to rally and organize,” the group’s report says.

People chat and whinge and threaten and gossip in online communities the same way they do in real life – more so, in fact, as retribution is less likely. The “Osama” community has at most 2000 members, out of perhaps 13 million in the Orkut community. Thats not many anti-Americans when you think about it! Reporters Sans Frontieres here and Orkut ditto.

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Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

One thought on “Osama bin Laden fan clubs build online communities

  1. Well I am sure that there are people in the US monitoring this activity for terrorist potential.

    But should the US and west be alarmed? Sure the internet can inflame and incite, and many worry about the anonymity it offers. But, it is a transparent medium if you want to use it to analyse opinion.

    Perhaps some qualitative researchers should be employed so the western world can gain a better understanding of why it is hated so much amongst the (tech savvy) Islamic fundamentalists. Perhaps some programs related to promoting cultural understanding could be developed.

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