- Feb 2018
Second, if anti-ISIS agencies are insufficiently active in countermeasures and hence the overall rate at which they fragment pro-ISIS clusters becomes too small—specifically, if the aggregate fragmentation rate vfrag < (NlnN)–1—then pro-ISIS support will grow exponentially fast into one super-aggregate (fig. S11).
The rationale here is that if anti-ISIS agencies do not shut down smaller aggregates at a sufficient rate, these aggregates will merge (coalesce) into bigger ones, which will be harder to shut down. Eventually, this process will repeat until a "super-aggregate" is formed, which will be very hard to shut down.
The data show that operational pro-ISIS and protest narratives develop through self-organized online aggregates, each of which is an ad hoc group of followers of an online page created through Facebook or its global equivalents, such as ВКонтакте (VKontakte) at http://vk.com/
An account page created on Facebook or VKontakte can be marked as an "organization". These pages are often used for informal organizations or groups of people interested in a particular subject. In the case of pro-ISIS aggregates, the pages contain material expressing a strong allegiance to ISIS and are followed by people interested in such material.
In the Supplementary Material, the authors point out that pages containing ISIS-related content are almost imediately shut down on Facebook and that such pages experience longer lifetimes on VKontakte.