Obama Administration officials are no strangers to the world of social media. In fact, many would argue it was the ability of the campaign arm of this regime to use 140 characters to reach young voters that put the President in the White House. Everything from getting out the vote to signing up for Obamacare to fighting terrorism, it would seem, has been addressed via forums like Twitter.
The latest efforts of social media seem to be directed at ISIS and their recruiting of foreign fighters. At UN Security Council meetings this week, heads of state joined ambassadors to take international action against ISIS imposing severe penalties on those who wish to join the fight. If all parties abide by the resolution, foreign fighters will not be permitted to return home. While a symbolic gesture, this is a step in the right direction, but what about Twitter?
Called the “Think Again Turn Away” campaign, reaction on the twitter page itself is mixed. Some seem to think going through the same channels as the terrorists in the ISIS armies to defeat them is somehow beneath the U.S. Others appear to be thrilled that our Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications is engaged and utilizing every tool available to them. Perhaps it is the public humiliation component that concerns citizens most. Posting pictures of dead jihadis and foreign fighters may embolden rather than discourage adherents to radical Islam. Further, for those who see death as the ultimate victory, is showing pictures of fighters who have met their reward actually going to dissuade Muslims bent on jihad?
Regardless of public opinion, the twitter feed exists, it seems the U.S. has even taken over one twitter account originated by ISIS sympathizers. War Games, Cyber war, #hellfire…whatever you call it, in the 21st Century it appears that a war of “words” is actually part of a serious conflict.
H/T: Daily Mail