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The use of online communities for different purposes

In a recent article at the Huffington Post, Jared Cohen gave his opinion on a new hot topic: terrorists and how they use social media to congregate. Terrorists use the internet to congregate just as everyone else does on a daily basis. The new reality we face is that the digital space we all use is just an extension of everyday life, everyone's daily life. It is a new set of tools that we use to capitalize on our liberties given to us by governments.

He spends the majority of the article focusing on how they these tools were used to recruit for and plan the Mumbai attacks. Terrorists are using social media to their advantage, but is this any different from how they use NGOs and other fundraisers for aiding their attacks? Yes, they use these tools. But so do we, and in effect better, because the majority of operations can be focused into one social networking tool. They must spread their efforts across multiple platforms such as email, chat rooms and social communities, so they don't raise any red flags during the planning stages.

Social media may be yet another threat used by the terrorists to congregate and communicate, but it's a far greater advantage for those who are using it for other purposes. We can also monitor what's going on online, and see how the terrorists are using the online tools.

Jenny Pereira

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