According to a recent study from the University of Haifa, your latest friend request on Facebook may be from a terrorist organization, for, like the rest of us, they have shifted their Internet activity focus to…social networks, obvi! “Today, about 90% of organized terrorism on the Internet is being carried out through the social media,” says Professor Gabriel Weimann, who’s been conducting research on the matter for the last 10 years. “By using these tools, the organizations are able to be active in recruiting new friends without geographical limitations,” he says.
Along with recruiting “friends” and as many “likes” as possible, groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda are using Facebook as a means to get intelligence. It seems the sick desire to accrue as many virtual friends as possible has led to a certain ease of friending, without regard for whom that friend might actually be. Says Weimann,
“Many users don’t even bother finding out who they are confirming as ‘Friend’ and to whom they are providing access to a large amount of information on their personal life. The terrorists themselves, in parallel, are able to create false profiles that enable them to get into highly visible groups,” he says.
Further, according to a Department of Homeland Security report obtained by FoxNews.com, though “terrorists have been using social networking sites for quite some time, their strategies for exploiting Facebook have evolved and that they have learned ‘the inherent value in exploiting a non-ideological medium.'”
Along with Facebook, terrorist groups are also using chat rooms, YouTube, Myspace, and, of course, Twitter. So, be careful on the Internet! If you do friend a complete and utter stranger who may or may not be holding a machine gun in his photo, make sure to post as many inane things about your life as possible, so as to woo him into a sleepy and defenseless stupor.
After all, if you’re afraid to friend someone on Facebook, the terrorists have won. Well, not really. Just wait until they start Tumbling.