ISIS vs. Nazi’s on Twitter

Who has more followers on Twitter? According to a new study, Nazis vs. ISIS on Twitter: A Comparative Study of White Nationalist and ISIS Online Social Media Networkswhite nationalists and Nazi sympathizers are winning over more followers than ISIS by a landslide. One of the main reasons is the crackdown on ISIS, led by Twitter shutting down 360,000 accounts. With white nationalist accounts, there are free speech implications which may impede any actions by Twitter.

Some of the major findings are:

  • “Major American white nationalist movements on Twitter added about 22,000 followers since 2012, an increase of about 600%. The increase was driven in part by organized social media activism, organic growth in the adoption of social media by people interested in white nationalism, and, to some extent, the rise of organized trolling communities seeking to flood social media platforms with negative content, regardless of participants’ actual beliefs.”
  • “Followers of white nationalists on Twitter were heavily invested in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. White nationalist users referenced Trump more than almost any other topic, and Trump-related hashtags outperformed every white nationalist hashtag except for #whitegenocide within the sets of users examined.”
  • “The white nationalist datasets examined outperformed ISIS in most current metrics and many historical metrics. White nationalists and Nazis had substantially higher follower counts than ISIS supporters, and tweeted more often. ISIS supporters had better discipline regarding consistent use of the movement’s hashtags, but trailed in virtually every other respect. The clear advantage enjoyed by white nationalists was attributable in part to the effects of aggressive suspensions of accounts associated with ISIS networks.”

Some related material from The Homeland Security Digital Library collection: