Social media sites are finally cracking down on Islamic State, experts have stated over the past several months, with 18,000 accounts linked to the group having already been shuttered as of January.
But even a new social network made specifically for ISIS has been booted off the internet, it was revealed Tuesday.
The site, 5elafabook.com, was made with SocialKit, a do-it-yourself social-media maker, according to Reuters – and it launched Sunday.
Featuring an amateur map of the world dotted with ISIS flags, the site shut down after just 24 hours, however, and its Twitter account has been suspended.
The move was to “protect the information and details of its members and their safety,” according to a banner on their page, which added that it is “not sponsored by the Islamic state.”
“We reiterate that the purpose of launching the site was to clarify to the whole world that we do not only carry guns and live in caves as they imagine … we advance with our world and we want advancement to become Islamic,” it said.
The Islamic State has utilized social media as part of a slick PR campaign that has seen it eclipse its rivals in Al-Qaeda among young aspiring jihadis, particularly from the English-speaking world.
By doing away with the need for old-fashioned jihadi internet forums – many of which can only be accessed by recognized members – the group has managed to spread its message, including gruesome images of executions and “martyred” fighters, further than any other Islamist group, and swelled its ranks of foreign fighters.
There are at least 45,000 Twitter accounts used by ISIS supporters, including those created and suspended in recent months, according to AFP.