90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The ISIS Social Media Attack

Another beheading claim and ISIS’s use of social media in its grab for power.

This still image from an undated video released by Islamic State militants on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, purports to show journalist Steven Sotloff being held by the militant group. The Islamic State group has threatened to kill Sotloff if the United States doesn't stop its strikes against them in Iraq. Video released Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014, purports to show Sotloff's murder by the same rebel group. (AP)

This still image from an undated video released by Islamic State militants on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, purports to show journalist Steven Sotloff being held by the militant group. The Islamic State group has threatened to kill Sotloff if the United States doesn’t stop its strikes against them in Iraq. Video released Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014, purports to show Sotloff’s murder by the same rebel group. (AP)

Another beheading of an American journalist by ISIS.  Steven Sotloff, 31.  The orange outfit.  The killer in black.  The desert.  The knife.  It’s hideous, stomach-turning.  Beyond infuriating.  And it’s on the web.  Social media.  This summer, ISIS has rampaged across the desert, taking turf, claiming a “caliphate,” slaughtering.  It has also rampaged across social media.  Using the platforms that lifted pro-democracy forces in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, this time to raise a reign of terror.  This hour On Point:  the ISIS onslaught, and the use of social media in its bloody grab for power.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Scott Shane, national security reporter for the New York Times. (@ScottShaneNYT)

Zeynep Tufekci, professor in the school of information and library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. (@zeynep)

Patrick Skinner, director of special projects for the Soufan Group. Former CIA Case Officer. (@SkinnerPm)

John Arquilla, professor and chair of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Author of “Worst Enemy: The Reluctant Transformation of the American Military” and “Insurgents, Raiders and Bandits.”

From Tom’s Reading List

BBC News: Steven Sotloff: Islamic State ‘kills US hostage’ — “An Islamic State video has appeared which purports to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist being held hostage by the militants.Mr Sotloff, 31, disappeared in Syria in 2013. He appeared at the end of a video last month which showed fellow US journalist James Foley being killed.”

New York Times:  ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Varied Media — “The extremists who have seized large parts of Syria and Iraq have riveted the world’s attention with their military prowess and unrestrained brutality. But Western intelligence services are also worried about their extraordinary command of seemingly less lethal weapons: state-of-the-art videos, ground images shot from drones and multilingual Twitter messages.”

The Daily Beast: ISIS is Using Social Media to Reach YOU, Its New Audience — “The migration from Internet chat forums to social media platforms came late to jihadists, but they’ve adapted skillfully. A strategy developed over years has evolved into a sophisticated campaign and now, at the center of the world’s attention, ISIS is using its skill to communicate directly to an American audience.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 1, 2014
Pro-democracy protesters hold umbrellas under heavy rain in a main street near the government headquarters in Hong Kong late Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them on Tuesday and threatened wider actions if he did not, after he said China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub. (AP)

China, democracy and Hong Kong. They’re in the streets in Hong Kong with their “Umbrella Revolution.” What now?

Oct 1, 2014
Actress Eva Longoria, center, Henry R. Munoz III, co-founder of the Latino Victory Project, left, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, are seated at an event launching The Latino Victory Project, a Latino political action committee, at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP)

Latino America. It is very large and growing very fast. How will it move the country?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

 
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Transcript: Peter Thiel Wants Us All To Go From ‘Zero To One’
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel on innovation, technological failure and humanity’s uncertain future.

More »
Comment
 
Transcript: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A transcript from our September 25, 2014 conversation on the Islamic State and sexual violence.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment