The most sinister change in the way war is perceived through the media springs from what just a few years ago seemed to be a wholly positive development. Satellite television and the use of information supplied by YouTube, bloggers and social media were portrayed as liberating innovations at the beginning of the Arab Spring. The monopoly on information imposed by police states from Tunisia to Egypt and Bahrain had been broken.

But as the course of the uprising in Syria has shown, satellite television and the Internet can also be used to spread propaganda and hate.

“Half of Jihad is Media” is one slogan posted on a jihadist website, which, taken broadly, is wholly correct. The ideas, actions, and aims of fundamentalist Sunni jihadists are broadcast daily through satellite television stations, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. As long as such powerful means of propagandizing exist, groups similar to al Qaeda will never go short of money or recruits.

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