A storm on the horizon? 'Twister' and the implications of the blockchain and peer-to-peer social networks for online violent extremism

Mott, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-8788-769X, 2019. A storm on the horizon? 'Twister' and the implications of the blockchain and peer-to-peer social networks for online violent extremism. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 42 (1-2), pp. 206-227. ISSN 1057-610X

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Abstract

Twister, developed by Miguel Freitas, is a social network platform centred around micro-blogging, much like Twitter. However, rather than relying on centralised servers owned and maintained by a single firm, Twister users operate a blockchain combined with DHT-like and BitTorrent-like protocols to both make posts and send private messages, and also to receive entries from other users. Twister's raison d'etre is that it offers a social networking platform that cannot be censored and cannot itself censor. The software does not record the IP addresses users use to access the service, nor does it notify other users of an account's online/offline status. Growing adoption of blockchain services means that it is possible that the concept of decentralised social networks could become a norm. It is suggested in this paper that blockchain-based peer-to-peer social networks present challenges to the current counter-extremist practices for content removal and censorship. Whilst there are methods to disrupt usage of blockchain-based peer-to-peer services, these approaches may have the net harm of curtailing bona fide use legal and novel technologies. Given this opportunity cost, non-transitory online violent extremist content may need to be tolerated

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
Creators: Mott, G.
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 2019
Volume: 42
Number: 1-2
ISSN: 1057-610X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1080/1057610X.2018.1513986DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Oct 2018 08:40
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 12:38
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34721

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