The Metronome of Apocalyptic Time: Social Media as Carrier Wave for Millenarian Contagion

J.M. Berger

Abstract


The Islamic State uses social media to activate a sense of “apocalyptic time” among its supporters online. Key elements of this campaign include instilling a sense of temporal acceleration and imminent arrival of end-times scenarios, leveraging the dynamics of social contagion and remote intimacy on beliefs that have an inherently viral appeal, and providing a vehicle for supporters outside its territories to immerse themselves in a highly idealized version of its millenarian project, the so-called caliphate. The Islamic State is the first group to employ these amplifying tactics on social media at an industrial scale, but it will likely not be the last.


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ENHANCING SECURITY THROUGH COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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