Miami Professor Using Social Media in Creating Pattern to Help Predict ISIS Attacks

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What to Know

  • A University of Miami professor has used vast research to develop a plan that may give a hint when ISIS attacks will take place.

With the threat of an ISIS attack fresh on the minds of many Americans, one University of Miami professor is coming up with a theory using social media in hopes of predicting and stopping future attacks.

Dr. Neil Johnson, a member of the school's Physics department, recently had his research published after spending a year researching pro-Islamic State posts on social media to see if there was a pattern between online threats and the location and time of an attack.

Johnson and his team studied mentions and posts on the social media service Vkontakte, a Russian based social media service that is used more than Facebook by ISIS members and sympathic groups in the region. The study focused on smaller groups to get a better idea of where activity and pro-ISIS sentiment was growing.

While the group did come up with an algorithm that they say provides a possible look into when an attack may take place, Johnson cautioned that it is still difficult to say for certain when another attack would take place, even with the research.

If you would like to read Johnson’s work, click here.

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