The extremist group ISIS have been using Google Plus to share their press releases and videos for months, apparently without hinderance from the tech giant.
After coming under fire for not doing enough to combat extremism online, other social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook made it very difficult for groups such as ISIS to post and share content.
Google Plus has apparently left multiple ISIS accounts untouched, including what appears to be the “official” account of Amaq News Agency, the extremist group’s main media outlet. Amaq has been using Google Plus to publish press releases as well as videos and infographics, with many of their posts receiving dozens of upvotes.
To date, Amaq have published 243 posts to Google Plus, extending as far back as July of this year. The content posted is often graphic: uncensored and gory execution videos including everything from beheading to crucifixion, front-line battle footage, and menacing threats of violence targeted at the West.
In addition to the official ISIS news agency publishing content, there are numerous personal profiles which have been sharing extremist propaganda from the terror group. A Google Plus “Community” which claims to act as a force against “misleading” media about ISIS has over 1,000 members and has been active.
Any account found to be posting ISIS videos, pictures or press releases is quickly banned from Twitter and Facebook, making it nearly impossible for the extremist group to effectively use those networks to spread its message. ISIS accounts on Twitter often only last a day or two before being removed, and use long, jumbled usernames, likely to avoid instant detection.
Starting in December of 2016 Google announced it will heighten its flagging and removal of “the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos – content..” that goes against is policies in a joint effort with Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube.
Although Google Plus may be social media network declining in popularity, its evident lack of moderation has led it to remain useful for extremist terror groups such as ISIS.
Al Bawaba is reaching out to Google for comment.