Despite the often-decentralised nature of extremists and violent extremists in online spaces, there is clear evidence that they attempt to coordinate platform migration and provide instructional manuals on how fellow sympathisers should maintain operational security measures as they branch out onto other applications. Encountering new platforms naturally comes with a learning curve which translates to the risk of making potential mistakes if a user is unfamiliar with the security protocols and user terms of the platform. To reduce op-sec errors, users share messages containing security tips, create graphics addressing potential pitfalls of various platforms, and post lengthy guidelines on how to safely set up accounts on other apps via instructional PDFs, articles, and videos. Additionally, the wide array of available messaging apps has resulted in extremists simultaneously gravitating towards multiple platforms with varying objectives intended for specific apps.
Perhaps the clearest examples of such activities come from Islamic State supporters – although there have been recent instances of extreme right, white supremacist, and conspiracy milieus utilising similar strategies. This article will primarily focus on IS supporters’ online activities as a case study but will also touch on the extreme right and white supremacists.