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11.20.07

This Might Be Going a Little Too Far

I came across an article title that jumped out at me “Internet Marketing Tips from Al Qaeda” beyond the obvious shock factor there are some really interesting observations from a professor in Israel.

Gabriel Weimann is a professor of communications at the University of Haifa in Israel. He’s been monitoring 5,800 militant Islamist web sites there, and has noticed a disturbing trend: the terrorists are becoming quite the savvy niche marketers.

“One of the most alarming trends we found on the Internet recently is what we call ‘narrowcasting’,” said Weimann. “Terrorists are using the Internet to focus on children, very young children to attract young people to the ideology, and then later to the way of terrorism.”

The article goes on to describe how Al Qaeda is adopting many of the industry practices enjoyed by corporate America to get out there and be visible on the web. It struck me as a concern due to the fact that we really don’t have any checks and balances in technology to ensure children on the web aren’t preyed upon, the flip side of the observation is that technology really is the great equalizer when it comes to getting your message out.