The music-based social media app TikTok has banned roughly two dozen accounts for sharing ISIS propaganda, the New York Post reports.
The app, which is based in China, was being monitored by the agency Storyful as part of a broader investigation into potential recruitment platforms for the radical Islamic terror group. The videos posted by such accounts included IS fighters describing themselves as “jihadist and proud,” and another one where a group of fighters sing “we pledge allegiance ‘til death.”
The Post reports that some of the banned accounts had accumulated over 1,000 followers. Terrorism expert Elisabeth Kendall of Oxford University said that ISIS recruitment had the potential to be stronger on such platforms as TikTok due to its young demographics, with 30 percent of the userbase being under 18.
The app normally involves short, Vine-like videos of users lip-syncing to popular songs. Kendall said that the co-opting of this original purpose for ISIS propaganda could be effective for recruitment, with the “catchy sing-along method” being able to “spread quickly…and stick in the collective memory.”
Although the physical caliphate of ISIS was completely eradicated earlier this year, some groups of ISIS fighters remain scattered throughout the Middle East, and have instead turned their focus to online recruitment.