Friday, November 16, 2007

US unleashes six bloggers in assault on Islamist propaganda

by Dan Goodin from The Register (UK)

On Thursday, Duncan MacInnes, of the State Department's bureau of international information programs, told a congressional subcommittee that government spinmeisters are on the case. "We are currently in the process of expanding the original team of two Arabic bloggers to six, while also adding one Urdu and two Farsi (Persian) linguists," MacInnes said in prepared remarks submitted to the House Armed Services Committee's panel of terrorism. "We are also exploring how we can use the applicability of our mission of new cyber-technologies such as Second Life and cell phone games to further advance our mission." He said an Arabic website used to counter violent extremism attracts more than 200,000 visitors per month from countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Morocco. A separate Persian site, he said, "has been highly successful," averaging 42,000 users per week.

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