Vidme – Latest Video-Sharing Service Embraced By ISIS, Other Jihadis – Follows In Footsteps Of YouTube, Internet Archive

By: Steven Stalinsky*

August 24, 2015

Introduction

In the past few months, the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) has found that the video-sharing service Vidme has joined other services such as YouTube, the Internet Archive, Sendvid, Daily Motion, and more that host hosting numerous pro-Islamic State (ISIS) videos. The videos on Vidme, many of which are produced by the ISIS media wing Al-Hayat, feature beheadings; children receiving ISIS military training and religious education; ISIS fighters from Canada, Germany, Russia, and other countries; Indonesian and other jihadis swearing allegiance to ISIS;  ISIS fighters training and fighting in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, and other places; fighters from Jabhat Al-Nusra and other groups captured by ISIS; ISIS women fighters training; speeches by ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and others; Western media reports about ISIS with pro-ISIS commentary; and more. Some of the videos are subtitled in English. Accounts and video pages, some of which feature ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and ISIS flags as avatars, can also include links to accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, and also to other websites.

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About Vidme

The Los Angeles-based Vidme, which was launched in June 2010, and which has apps for both iOS and Android, differs from YouTube and other video-sharing services in that it promises complete privacy control.[1] In addition, videos can be posted anonymously; its website states: “Instant video uploads. No account required.” Founder Greg Siegel said about the service in 2010: “The real main thing was creating a service that puts privacy and control in the center of the sharing experience, as opposed to an afterthought.”[2] While other video-sharing services like YouTube do allow access to videos to be restricted, the main aim of such sites is for the video to be shared, so the privacy controls are quite basic.[3]

Vidme also does not require users to register with their social profiles, email addresses, or phone numbers in order to upload content. Vidme is much simpler to use than other services, particularly from smartphones, offering one-step uploading; after uploading, users can share the link to social networks. It has emerged as the most-used video platform on the entertainment, social networking, and news website Reddit; some of the pages of the videos below have links to comments on Reddit. In April 2015, Vidme secured $3.2 million in funding and released a new iOS app.[4]

Vidme’s Terms Of Service Prohibit Promotion Of “Illegal Activities” And “Hatred Or Physical Harm Of Any Kind” – But, Like Twitter, YouTube, And Other Companies, It Is Not Consistently Enforcing Them

Vidme’s Terms of Service state: “You must use Vidme in a manner consistent with any and all applicable laws and regulations. If you post Prohibited Content, as decided in our sole discretion, we may ban you and report you to the authorities, if necessary.” The prohibited content includes: child pornography; “false or misleading information” or information that “promotes illegal activities”; content that “poses or creates a privacy or security risk to any person”; content that is “offensive or promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual,” that “harasses or advocates harassment of another person”; that “furthers or promotes any criminal activity or enterprise or provides instructional information about illegal activities including, but not limited to making or buying illegal weapons.”[5] However, these rules are enforced inconsistently or not at all with regard to jihadi content.

The following are examples of ISIS and pro-ISIS content, as well as content from Al-Qaeda and its affiliates such as Jabhat Al-Nusrah, posted on Vidme (Warning: graphic content). Note: Several of these accounts have been shut down, either by Vidme or by the users.

Anonymously Uploaded Videos

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 “AlHayat_Media Center Presents: A Nasheed Video For the sake of Allah (Fisabilillah)” – Uploaded April 14, 2015, 328 plays. Source: Vid.me/CdLY, accessed June 18, 2015.

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ISIS Nineveh province presents: Life on the battlefront in the month of jihad.” July 2015, 67 views. Source: vid.me/IV6P, accessed July 30, 2015.

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“Banner of Islam” – “ISIS offers free transportation in the entire Nineveh province,” July 2015, 36 views. Source: vid.me/zrcf, accessed July 30, 2015.

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“#AlHayat_Media Presents: A French Nasheed Video Extend your hand to pledge allegiance” – Uploaded week of May 24, 2015, 192 plays. Sources: Vid.me/PsgJ (27 views); Vid.me/0Mqn (192 views), accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Nineveh province: Crusaders’ shelling of peaceful Muslims in Aden neighborhood.” May 28, 2015, 33 views. Source: vid.me/rWoP, accessed July 30, 2015.

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“Welceome [sic]to the Islamic State land (ISIS)” – Uploaded September 14, 2014, 152 views. Source: vid.me/oys.

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“The Believers storming the disbelievers @ Baiji oil refinery”[6] – Uploaded April 17, 2015, 57 views. Source: vid.me/sqbB, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Wilayat Kirkuk – raiding peshmerga barracks adjacent to Wilayat Kirkuk #2” – Uploaded April 11, 2015, 94 views. Source: vid.me/MdVg, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Blood of Jihad 2” – Military training of children. Uploaded December 6, 2015, 27 views. Source: vid.me/khfW, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Blood of Jihad 2 video”  – Uploaded November 24, 2014, 190 views. Source: vid.me/fswu, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Blood of Jihad – images of Caliphate cubs course.” Military training of children. Uploaded November 24, 2014, 148 views. Source: vid.me/HC0G, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“The media office for Ninawa Province presents: Blood of Jihad 2” – Religious education for children. Uploaded November 24, 2015, 149 views. Source: vid.me/7ZA6, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“The Establishment of the Islamic State Part 6” – uploaded December 24, 2014, 183 views. Source: vid.me/QZLM, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Message of the Mujahid 5 – Abu Anwar Al-Canadi” – December 7, 2014; sources Vid.me/BlVY (66 views); Vid.me/VTQ8 (18 views); and Vid.me/lE8E (1,366 views), accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Targeting the Peshmerga sites in the province of Diyali with bombs // Islamic State” – Uploaded October 17, 2014, 59 views.
Source: vid.me/bc3.

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“ISIS Music Video 2” – uploaded December 11, 2014, 387 views, vid.me/Fi9P.

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“ISIS women fighters during the training with AK 47 in Ar raqaa – YouTube [360 p]” – Uploaded September 28, 2014, 445 views. Source: vid.me/wqb, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Islamic State video release: The repentance of dozens of JN & Ahrar soldiers” – Uploaded January 10, 2014, 121 views. Source: Vid.me/wI3z, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“German Mujahid in Syria” – Uploaded November 19, 2014, 10,594 views. Source: https://vid.me/dChO, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Words of Mujahid 2” – Uploaded December 18, 2014, 142 views. Source:
https://vid.me/CIld, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Indonesia Mujahideen Give Bai’ah [oath of fealty] to Abu Bakar Al Baghdady” – Uploaded July
23, 2014, 8, 552 views. Source: vid.me/wzo, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“A message to those who have refrained from jihad” – Uploaded November 6, 2014, 49 views, https://vid.me/8aB9, accessed June 18, 2015.

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“Al-Hayat Media  presents a message from the brother Abu Muhammad Al-Russi, original quality” – Uploaded November 2, 2014, 56 views. Source: vid.me/Yl3, accessed June 18, 2015. This page links to a Twitter account.

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“It was won with terror” – Uploaded November 4, 2014, 29 views. Source: vid.me/nYw, accessed June 18, 2015. While the logo on the video is of the Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis organization, it was posted the same month that this organization swore allegiance to ISIS.

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“Islamic State Flag” – Uploaded December 13, 2014, 108 views. Source: vid.me/BdyY, accessed June 18, 2015.


Videos From Registered Accounts

aljanabya, vid.me/aljanabya

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“Enforcement of the punishment for stealing against one of the thieves in Dijal province” – Uploaded March 22, 2015, 35 views. Accessed June 18, 2015.  


Bageh, vid.me/u/bageh

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“A quick answer from the lions of the Islamic Caliphate State” – Uploaded December 20, 2014, 33 views. Accessed June 18, 2015.
 


Mjahd, vid.me/u/mjahd

Followers: 2

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“Al-Battar Media Foundation – The First Rain production” – Uploaded December 1, 2014, 83 views. Accessed June 18, 2015.
 


Vandertuuk, vid.me/u/vandertuuk

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“ISL-ISIS distributes food in Iraq. 13 June 2014” – Uploaded January 2015, 5 views. Accessed June 17, 2015.

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“Halab – Bombardir salibis terhadap kaum muslimin-3″ ( Al-Azzam Media Division of Media Khilafah Islamiyah | Daulah Islamiyah | Islamic State) – The Bombing of the Crusaders on Muslims” – Uploaded around May 13, 2015, 4 views.
 


msbr7r, vid.me/u/msbr7r

Followers: 9

19 videos, total 2,638 views.

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“The Blood of Jihad [part] 2” – Military training of children. Uploaded November 26, 2014, 63 views.

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“Publication : #Best_of_Umma” – Uploaded November 27, 2014, 91 views.

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“Lively messages from the rebellious city of Baiji,” uploaded November 26, 2015, 224 views. Source: vid.me/kcaW, accessed June 18, 2015.


Freemind, vid.me/u/freemind

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“A state, not an organization” – Uploaded December 13, 2014, 221 views.


onys, vid.me/u/onys

Total account views: 2,638.

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“The Caliphate Foundation _presents_ Pictures from the Land of the Caliphate” – Uploaded November 17, 2014, 68 views.


baqdadi, vid.me/u/baqdadi

Total account views: 214

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“The Islamic State: A visit to the City of Mosul under the Rule of Islamic State” – Uploaded December 10, 2014, 131 views.
 


thaalfikar, vid.me/u/thaalfikar

36 videos, 2,721 total account views.

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A nasheed: “[I] Walk on the Hot Coals of Danger Barefooted”– Uploaded November 18, 2014, 46 views.


Takriz, vid.me/u/Takriz

4 videos, 1,667 total account views.

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“Execution of a young man with a sword in the city of Al-Shaddadi in Al-Hasaka province in Syria at the hands of ISIS” – Uploaded January 27, 2014, 714 views.
 


Islamic, vid.me/u/islamic

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“Watch what the Islamic State does” – Uploaded December 9, 2014, 230 views.


7awari, vid.me/u/7awari

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“The weekly harvest – Islamic State / exclusive” – Uploaded January 21, 2015, 554 views. Page links to a Twitter account.


Zenad, vid.me/u/Zenad

7 videos, 2,073 total account views.

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“Martyrdom Operation of Abu Thabit Al-Ansari may Allah accept him” – Uploaded December 5, 2015, 172 views.


3olaqi, vid.me/u/3olaqi

4 videos, 1,268 total account views.

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“Lions of the Islamic State bring down an airplane in Homs province, and that was due to Allah’s grace and might” – Uploaded December 4, 2015,
1,019 views.


JUHIMAN1, vid.me/u/JUHIMAN1

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“Sunaa alhiat” – U
ploaded January 10, 2015, 27 views.


abu_laila, vid.me/abu_laila

Total account views: 2,166.

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“The martyr – Allah willing – Khaled Al-Russi” – Uploaded December 12, 2014, 1,236 views.


skafisti, vid.me/skafisti

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“Al-Raqqa [media] office presents: message to the media knights” – Uploaded March 2015, 23 views.


SMG45, vid.me/SMG45

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“Episode 4: Satan’s Whispers (Lies Against The Islamic State) – This is the Fourth Episode of Exposing Falsehood. Our aim in these series is to present truths regarding politics and religion” This account links to Twitter and Facebook pages Uploaded December 8, 2014, 15 views.  


Suspended Accounts

Yazeed_Dharr, account suspended

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“Damascus province || Repent before we overcome you.” June 29, 2015. The video, an official ISIS video,[7] was accessed by MEMRI on July 22, 2015. 

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From the video.

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From the video.


aboaasem6, account suspended

Total account views: 588

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“Land of caliphate | voice of nafeer, and homeland of pride” – Uploaded April 3, 2015, 4 views.


Shalhop, account suspended

Total account views: 5,497

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“Bravery of the Caliphate soldiers in Nigeria and their breaking to the borders of Cameroon // Islamic State” – Uploaded November 11, 2014, 355 views.

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“American Project VS Islamic State (Part 1/2)” – Uploaded November 7, 2014, 60 views.


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“American Project VS Islamic State (Part 2/2)” – Uploaded November 7, 2014, 20 views.

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“A magnificent film that surpasses the films of Hollywood” – Description: “This is a very fun release from Al-Furqan Media Foundation, which belongs to the Islamic State in Iraq. Views have reached unbelievable numbers on many websites and jihadi and non-jihadi forums alike…this is besides the direct views of the production on YouTube and elsewhere…” – Uploaded November 13, 2014, 352 views.

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“Caliphate soldiers – Islamic State remains and spreads” – Uploaded October 30, 2015, 222 views
.

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“Distinguished publication | The international coalition for fighting the Islamic State…” Description: “Published on 10/29/2014; The Scandals of Secularism for Media Production presents: a distinguished visual presentation; The International Coalition to Fighting the Islamic State…” – Uploaded October 29, 2014, 219 views.
 


Turjman_12, account suspended

Total account views: 595

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“Islamic State – We are waiting for you – Mujahid’s Message” – Uploaded December 24, 2014, 25 views.


Sayyar, account suspended

12 followers, 46,160 total account views.

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“Messages from the frontlines”; “The Islamic State, May Allah dignified it – the province of Anbar – Baghdadi side” – Uploaded December 16, 2014, 577 views
.


Iqorshy, account suspended

Total account views: 381

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“The Rafidites [i.e. Shi’ites] in the grip of the #Islamic_State reciting #Baqiya [Remains, i.e. Islamic State remains]”  – Uploaded November 2014, 8 views.

Non-ISIS Jihadi Videos


Sadaislamic, account suspended.

11 videos, 693 total account views. This account linked to the Islamic website Sada Al-Sham Al-Islami (http://sadaislamic.net/wp/), which reports about the activity of various Islamist rebel factions in Syria.

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“Jabhat_Al-Nusra | part from the attack on the Al-Masroub and Al-Jebb points, which belong to Hezbollah and the [Syrian] Army – Uploaded November 22, 2014, 58 views.
 


Jihadgaza, vid.me/u/jihadgaza – Jabhat Al-Nusra

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“Teaser trailer for the fighter of Jabhat Al-Nusra,” December 6, 2014, 29 views. Accessed June 17, 2015. This video is Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Endnotes:

[1] Mobile.geek.com, June 25, 2010.

[2] Bits.blogs.nytimes.com, June 23, 2015.

[3] Mobile.geek.com, June 25, 2010.

[4] Techcrunch.com, April 7, 2015; Variety.com, April 7, 2015.

[5] Vid.me/terms-of-use, accessed June 17, 2015.

[6] See also MEMRI JTTM report Photos Document ISIS Attack On Iraq’s Baiji Refinery, Show ISIS Operations Center In Action, April 12, 2015.

[7] See MEMRI JTTM report New ISIS Video Shows Beheading Of Jabhat Al-Nusra, Jaish Al-Islam Captives, June 28, 2015.