A Look At Text And Image Sharing Services Used To Publish ISIS Content

February 23, 2016

The Islamic State (ISIS) releases daily a stream of materials online, including written statements, pictorial reports, video and audio productions, as well as various printable materials, among other things.

The pictorial reports typically consist of a series of images with a title and brief introduction, presenting aspects of ISIS’s activities and military operations. More often than not, these reports are graphic in nature and include, for example, the execution of spies and graphic images of combatants killed by ISIS.

The reports are published daily on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum, as well as on social media and other platforms. Typically, the bottom of each report contains one or more links to various text and image sharing websites in order to help ISIS supporters disseminate the content across different platforms where the links can be easily copied and pasted.

Links at the bottom of a pictorial report

The text and image sharing website justepaste.it has been widely used to publish ISIS content in the past. However, from a recent examination of ISIS content published on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum, other websites seem to have taken its place.

One notable website in that regard is shortwiki.org, aka the Mini Encyclopedia. The website provides similar functionality to justpaste.it and has a similar layout as well.

Shortwiki.org (left) and Justpaste.it

Aside from the frequency with which shortwiki.org links appear on Shumoukh Al-Islam, one can get gauge the website’s popularity among ISIS supporters with Google searches.

A simple Google images search using the shortwiki.org URL results in many images from ISIS pictorial reports. The results become even more exclusively ISIS oriented when the advanced search query inurl: is used (the query only returns results that have the shortwiki.org URL in their actual filename).

Simple Google image search using shortwiki.org URL