Claimed Location of Tweeters
When it comes to geographical data, 1.5% of the 20,000 users studied enabled location “on at least one tweet of their last 200.” The majority of users that enabled their location on Twitter (28%) were located in Iraq or Syria. Evidently, the majority of ISIS supporters are located within the organization’s claimed territories in both Iraq and Syria, in addition to some contested territories. Further, the second common location for location-enabled users was Saudi Arabia.
Since many users did not enable location, the authors also analyzed the location of users through the location they claimed in their profile. As this graph demonstrates, the majority of users that claimed a location in their profiles selected Saudi Arabia (866), Syria (507), or Iraq (453).
However authors also noted that since location selection on Twitter is a “free-form” text-field, many are able to choose a location without verification. As a result, the authors strongly believe that “some ISIS supporters deceptively listed locations in the United States (404) in order to create the appearance of a homeland threat.”