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U.S. Government Using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to Fight Al-Qaida
Source: theprovince.com
Source Date: Friday, April 12, 2013
Country: United States
Created: Apr 16, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya — A group of U.S. government workers called the Digital Outreach Team is countering extremist propaganda on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The team posts tweets, updates on Facebook and video to YouTube in Arabic, Punjabi, Somali and Urdu. The 50-member team is comprised of Americans and foreign nationals who are native speakers of the four languages. The unit had more than 7,000 what they term “engagements” — postings, updates or uploads.

The top official on the team, Alberto Fernandez, says the goal of the team is to contest space that had previously been ceded to extremists. Fernandez says that in years past groups like al-Qaida could monopolize online discussions, but that the U.S. Digital Outreach Team is now in the online space to rebut false claims.

(By Jason Straziuso)

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