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Publication Date

1-1-2021

Abstract

The use of social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for promoting criminal agendas (including global terrorism, transnational organised crime, and cyberattacks) is a rapidly growing phenomenon. Criminals are increasingly using social media as a platform for the recruitment of victims, clients, service providers, and to solicit donations that are normally channelled through the financial system. The National Defense University's Center for Complex Operations lists social media as “enabling a new category of professional “terrorist financiers” within terrorist groups, as they rely more heavily on social media to solicit donations and communicate with both donors and recipient radicals (Trabulsi & Reitano, 2016, p.223). In Africa, Somalia's al-Shabaab is identified as a terrorist organisation that has “long had quite active campaigns on Twitter and Facebook, and spends considerable energy on propagating its radical ideology through slick propaganda” (Trabulsi & Reitano, 2016, p.217).

The complexity of a trillion-dollar financial crime industry requires a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to comprehend and counter. Effective cross boarder collaboration on intelligence sharing and border security among the African states, together with regional, continental and international organisations is key to the successful deployment of counter terrorism strategies (Ramdeen, 2017).

Digital identification, or “digital ID, is becoming an essential tool for anti-corruption and financial crime efforts. The need for the deployment of digital ID systems to counter the various financial crimes through social media is becoming increasingly urgent. Deployment of digital ID systems by the social media companies is critical to silence the voices of those promoting criminal acts or terrorist agendas through these platforms. The paper seeks to make a meaningful contribution towards the global fight against financial crimes and corruption by making a case for public policy by governments and financial regulators around the world recognises as a catalyst for the take-up of digital IDs by the social media companies.

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