#Hashtags for Peace

Back in December, British humanitarian aid worker, Alan Henning, was held hostage by The Islamic State, and just recently on October 3rd an appalling video was released by IS, revealing Henning beheaded to send a message. This shocked many around the world and after this, finally, the online propaganda from IS began to drown out. During this time though, between Friday October 3rd and Saturday October 4th, a new online trend emerged as a repercussion.


A Hashtag on twitter called #NotInMyName, created by a London activist group, started trending very quickly. This group, The Active Change Foundation, created this trend to makes sure the voices of the hidden and innocent civilians were heard.  According to ACF, the message of their campaign is powerful yet simplistic: the message is them clearly saying that the conflict and actions brought by the Islamic State are NOT in the name of Islam, or even more broader, it is not in the name of ANY faith or humanity. This trend has really taken off, and has reached over 300 million supporters of Muslims and non-Muslims.

It is remarkable how much can be done from just sitting behind your computer today. Online propaganda and the use of social media has increased dramatically over time and IS has really exploited their use, and have become more violent and extreme as a result. According to BBC, the access and capabilities of social media and the internet have created the most socially- mediated conflict in history.

Much propaganda from IS is used to lure and recruit more members. IS uses this image to appeal to young males, who are familiar with video games, as a way to reach out for new soldiers


Although there is not much we can do to stop these signs we always have the capabilities of counter measures. This US propaganda was created to warn people about IS and their tactics and motives.


Looking upon all this information about how social media can do so much in a society today is beyond belief. Whatever the reasons one uses this outlet, whether positively or negatively on society, it still can make a big impact. What we need though is much more people to contribute positively to outweigh the amount of negatively that is brought on.  Social media is the easiest and most accessible way to do so, and that is why it has become so popular. I am glad to be contributing my part through this blog with all my classmates in the Global Leadership Center, and it’s great to hear about other groups who are similar as ours, like the Active Change Foundation, because these type of groups are what we need to see real changes and positive impacts on society.





4 thoughts on “#Hashtags for Peace

  1. I loved reading this article because it is very true in society today. I am trying to think of one day I did not get on social media this past week and I can’t… It is extremely powerful which scares and also makes me happy. I agree with you that it needs to be used in a more positive light to avoid conflict, but what really makes me wonder is how this would be done?

  2. I know ISIS is on Twitter but I had no clue they were using video game slogans to advertise themselves! I definitely think ISIS and ISIS propaganda is more prevalent and inconspicuous than we realize. Also, I hope the “#notinmyname” trend becomes more popular throughout social media because I feel like a lot of people do not realize that ISIS DOES NOT represent the majority of Muslim population. I wonder if ISIS has any plans to counteract this trend?

  3. We use Twitter to post about our days, and seemingly unimportant events. I love that they are using the hashtag as almost a movement. With all that is going on in the Middle East, it is understandable to how the civilians feel as if they are being overlooked, but i think it is great that they are generating so much conversation about it through social media.

  4. This was great! It’s so true how social media can affect change and raise awareness about these struggles. I also thought it was super interesting that ISIS takes advantage of utilizing video games to recruit soldiers…I had never thought of this as a real marketing technique, however I’m glad that the U.S. responded with a sign of their own. I think even more could be expanded on social media in order to truly reach all sides of the spectrum on the internet.

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