How Online Propaganda Works

Shmukh user al-Sakit argues that you need a wide distribution of jihadi propaganda on mainstream forums in order to attract a small amount of people.  He observes that the three top mainstream Arabic forums have one million users each.  If you post jihadi propaganda to all of them, only 10% (300,000) are likely to look at it.  Of those, 10% (30,000) will like what they see.  Of those, 10% (3000) will embrace the idea of jihad. Of those, 10% (300) will propagandize. Of those, 10% (30) will go out to fight in a jihad.  Of those, 10% (3) will seek martyrdom.  

That’s much the way I think about it, which is why countering the effects of jihadi propaganda is so difficult.  It just needs to mobilize a few.

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One Response

  1. Here’s another study explaining how people behave in social media. Less than 1% are in the extreme. Trying to counter the small number of extremists on line through social media is inefficient and ineffective. Better to identify the extremists using social media, then try to influence their behavior through direct engagement on a direct person-to-person basis.


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