Search Mailing List Archives

Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] Why Al-Qaida Hates the Internet: Trust Problems on Jihadi Discussion Forums

Yosem Companys companys at
Tue Jan 22 10:27:42 PST 2013

Why Al-Qaida Hates the Internet: Trust Problems on Jihadi Discussion
*CISAC Social Science Seminar*

January 24, 2013
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Open to the public
No RSVP required

Thomas Hegghammer <> -
Zukerman Fellow at CISAC

 The trust problem limits what rebels can do online. The scarcity of
non-verbal cues in digital communication facilitates deceptive mimicry,
which undermines the interpersonal trust required for sensitive
transactions. Open-source data from jihadi discussion forums show that
distrust there is very high and direct recruitment rare. General trust also
declined during the observation period (2006-2011). As of 2012, forums are
still in use, but primarily for low-stake activities such as
propaganda-sharing and ideological debate. Confidence in the authenticity
of propaganda remains relatively high, due to vetting institutions and
hard-to-fake video formats. A modicum of interpersonal trust also remains,
thanks to reputation systems and a few relatively reliable signs of
trustworthiness involving time expenditure. The trust problem is an
Achilles’ heel for terrorists online – but probably also for pro-democracy
activists in authoritarian settings.

CISAC Conference Room
Encina Hall Central, 2nd floor
616 Serra St.
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the liberationtech mailing list