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Monday, December 6, 2021
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Selling Terrorism Online

Over the past two decades, the roles of social media and other digital technologies have evolved. What started as a means of communication among friends quickly snowballed into tools for business, activism, and more. But these new technologies have also been used by terrorists for malicious purposes.

Professor Audrey Kurth Cronin, founding director of SIS’s Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology (CSINT), joins Big World to discuss how the Internet and social media have impacted terrorism and counterterrorism strategies. She gives us the background on new technology developments during the Fourth Industrial Revolution (1:45) and tells us why this new technology is unprecedented (2:46).

How have digital technologies affected the strategies of terrorists and other rogue actors (5:43)? Cronin explains how terrorists use tactics similar to those used by online marketers (9:00). She also provides insights on whether the trend of social media organizing helps or hurts democracies and democratic interests (16:12) and how governments use social media and digital technologies to combat rogue actors (18:16).

Is social media good or bad for people and society? We end the podcast with Cronin’s response to this existential question that social media tends to provoke (24:00).

During our “Take Five” segment, Cronin shares what five policies she would institute to influence the future of digital technologies and security (13:18).

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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