(New York, N.Y.) — The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. Last week, CEP researchers located multiple TikTok accounts promoting white supremacist active clubs and glorifying the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack. Additionally, 10 accounts on Meta-owned Instagram were located that disseminated ISIS and pro-ISIS propaganda, including using the platform’s “stories” feature, including video clips of executions and calls for violence.
Lastly, a Telegram channel for the U.K. Proud Boys urged followers to donate money to Tommy Robinson, founder of the Islamophobic anti-immigration group the English Defence League (EDL), who claims he can no longer open bank accounts or rent a home in the U.K.
Extreme Right Content and Content Glorifying the Christchurch Terrorist Attack Located on TikTok
CEP researchers located multiple examples of extreme right content and nine videos and one profile that glorified the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack on ByteDance-owned TikTok.
Videos included two recreations of the Christchurch attack video using a video game, in a title from the Grand Theft Auto franchise and Roblox. The former video had over 64,000 views after being on the platform for approximately one month. One of the clips located was 26 seconds of footage taken from the attack video that did not contain violence. The clip had a warning from TikTok that “participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt.” Additional content included memes and short videos that promoted violence or glorified the Christchurch attacker. CEP reported all content to relevant national authorities.
Three accounts were found that promoted white supremacist active clubs or the movement’s founder, Rob Rundo. One of the accounts, for a white supremacist clothing label affiliated with Rundo, posted a video that received over 500 views and contained the URL for the web store.
Video promoting the active club movement on TikTok. Screenshot taken on June 1.
Accounts Posting ISIS Propaganda Located on Instagram
In a sample of content located on June 1, CEP researchers located 10 accounts on Meta-owned Instagram that posted ISIS and pro-ISIS propaganda. The accounts uploaded pro-ISIS photos and clips from ISIS propaganda videos, including multiple videos uploaded using the Instagram “stories” feature.
One account posted approximately a dozen sped-up ISIS videos using the “stories” feature and featuring a picture-in-picture effect. Videos uploaded by the account included graphic executions and encouraged violence. Four of the 10 accounts had the URL of a pro-ISIS propaganda website in their bio. One of the “stories” uploaded was of the ISIS video “Answer the Call,” released in January 2018, which encouraged terrorist attacks and included footage of several beheadings.
The 10 accounts had an average of 454 followers, ranging between 71 and 1,544. CEP reported the accounts to Instagram on June 1, but all 10 accounts were still on the platform, with no evidence of content removal, by June 5.
ISIS propaganda video “Answer the Call” uploaded as a sped-up clip to Instagram “stories” feature. Screenshot taken on June 1.
Clip from the ISIS video “We Will Surely Guide Them to Our Ways,” originally released in May 2017, located on Instagram on June 1.
U.K. Proud Boys Chapter Urges Donations to Tommy Robinson
On May 29, a Telegram channel affiliated with the U.K. branch of the Proud Boys encouraged their followers to donate money to Tommy Robinson, the former head of the English Defence League, through his blog. The Telegram channel, with over 2,800 followers, has posted memes celebrating violence against transgender people and promoted Islamophobic content.