Terrorist sympathizers are exploiting the website and application Mixlr to broadcast and discuss their extremist views online. Their use of Mixlr parallels previous efforts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its supporters to find and utilize new online platforms for spreading their propaganda.
Mixlr is a platform that enables users to broadcast live audio “to the world” and to “chat, engage and interact with your listeners in real time.” Mixlr is available online and for smartphones. Users can also log in via Facebook and Twitter.
Supporters of the ISIS have created at least two pages on Mixlr for broadcasting and discussing pro-ISIS material.
The primary account is called Khilafah (Arabic for Caliphate). The station sometimes broadcasts multiple times per day and has a considerable following: The account began broadcasting on October 19, 2014, and had garnered 44,548 “total listens” as of November 20, 2014. Broadcasts cover a variety of ISIS related topics including news updates on ISIS and reports from ISIS supporters around the world.
The Khilafah account has 665 followers who regularly converse on the site during broadcasts. Although much of the chat is mundane (requests to fix the sound quality, for example), some comments demonstrate the users’ extremism. A conversation on November 21, for example, celebrated ISIS’s alleged takeover of the Iraqi city of Ramadi with one commenter writing, “They are driven to the death…we will feed the faith with the blood of their veins.”
This account also has Pro membership status on Mixlr, which enables it to broadcast for an unlimited number of hours per week. This is a paid membership.
The secondary pro-ISIS page, AL7AQ, has only 134 followers, and is likely designed to replace the Khilafah page if it is shut down. That said, there has been some conversation on the AL7AQ page as well.
The pages have an associated Twitter feed that announces upcoming broadcasts and archives previous ones and promotes videos on YouTube that explain how to access the broadcast content. As of November 20, 2014, the Twitter feed had 2,393 followers, most of whom are apparently ISIS supporters based on their comments and account pictures.
The same broadcasts are also available on Paltalk, a program that enables video, voice, and group chats. Paltalk has been exploited by extremists in other instances as well. The Authentic Tauheed Paltalk channel, for example, broadcasts extremist and pro-ISIS messages by radical cleric Abdullah al-Faisal.
In the past, ISIS and its supporters have attempted to use alternative social media sites including Friendica, Diaspora and Quitter in order to keep their information online as their accounts were shut down by Facebook and Twitter. Friendica, Diaspora and Quitter have removed all pro-ISIS pages from their sites, and Twitter and Facebook regularly delete accounts that promote ISIS messages.