Virtually Islamic Blog

Gary R. Bunt


Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, Don't Shut Down the Internet's Biggest Jihadi Archive, 10 Dec 2018

"But I believe that Jihadology is different and should remain open to all. It enjoys moral safe-harbor, first of all, because unlike YouTube or Facebook it accepts no advertising and earns no click-based revenue. (Zelin offers translation services for a fee, but access to his archive is gratis.) No one profits from his collection. Second, he presents the specimens without endorsement or, indeed, explicit disapproval; unlike YouTube, it does not “recommend” videos, and unlike Facebook, it doesn’t favor certain pieces over others based on their popularity or clicks. The Web site is as close as one can have to a bare, unadorned catalogue, coded only by source (Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, etc.) and date."

Jihadology is certainly a useful resource for researchers and academics. It's one I point students to, after they have received sufficient training in using the materials.

Also see Mitch Prothero, Buzzfeed,

Now Academics Studying ISIS Are Feeling The Heat Of An Internet Crackdown

"Joshua Landis, an expert on Syrian politics at the University of Oklahoma, said that the attempt to restrict access to Zelin’s site is particularly worrisome because it shows officials still can’t tell the good guys from the bad. He notes that the most dangerous corners of the internet remain unmonitored, while Jihadology, Zelin’s blog, is easily found."

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