Its crazy to think how the whole world is connected through social media. Seriously, have you ever thought about it? How through social media, I can talk to someone that’s all the way on the other side of the planet and I don’t even have to know them. How social media has created this desire for everyone to feel connected. And how this desire is the sole reason why everyone is so consumed with social media. The world news today is filled with the extremist Islamic group ISIS. ISIS uses the worldwide connection of social media to bring together the people of Islam to fight for their cause and they’re pretty good at it, too. The United States has fought numerous wars, but none on social media. How is the United States fighting ISIS on social media?
The Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication is a branch of the United States Department of State. The branch is responsible for collecting intelligence and combatting recruitment and propaganda of terrorist groups on social media. The main social media sites the CSCC interacts with are twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The main target of the CSCC today is ISIS.
ISIS has used social media to become the most powerful terrorist group in the world today. ISIS became known throughout the world from their videos of beheadings of western civilians. They also use social media for recruitment and to even organize attacks. Just yesterday, October 7,2014, a member of the United States Air Force and his son received messages from Islamic State supporters. The Air Force serviceman had posted a picture from his deployment of an aerial bombing in Iraq. Through is page, ISIS supporters were able to navigate to the linked page of the serviceman’s son and post nasty messages. This comes after counterterrorism was received that members of the Islamic State were giving orders to find and “raid” the homes of members of our military. How did they instruct them to find the homes? Through social media. This development is not only eye opening but gives us a good example of how extreme this group really is.
How is the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication doing in their fight against ISIS on social media?
Not too good. The CSCC launched the controversial, “Think Again, Turn Away” campaign. Through this campaign the CSCC goes toe to toe with fighting ISIS on twitter and Facebook. The main tactic they use is mocking and downplaying ISIS. However, the campaign is not being taking very seriously. The mockery and sarcasm that the CSCC is using makes is seem as if the CSCC is just some childish eighth grader on the playground trying to pick a fight. The videos that are produced by the campaign are very subpar and poorly made. I cannot see this campaign being very successful in the future and it amazes me that this is a part of the State Department.
I think with the right leadership and more funding the “Think again, Turn Away” campaign can turn around. With how much ISIS uses social media, the need for this campaign is very crucial in combatting this group. The campaign could help with bringing this nasty extreme threat to justice. But for now ISIS continues using social media unscathed by the “Think Again, Turn Away” campaign.