Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Washington wages social media war on Daesh

Middle East Monitor

Image from article, with caption: File photo of Daesh rebels

The American administration has started a war on Daesh in cooperation with social media giants Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, Almesryoon.com reported yesterday.

Daesh has used the media platforms to recruit and direct its members.

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel said that Twitter and Facebook had been working hard to close accounts affiliating to Daesh.

“Twitter has publicly said they have taken down close to 200,000 handles,” he said. “They have taken down way more than that.”

“YouTube has taken down literally millions of videos. Facebook has hundreds of people who are working 24/7 to take down this noxious content.”

In addition to closing the accounts, America hopes to encourage moderate voices.

The State Department’s Global Engagement Centre is not going to be focused on US messages with a government stamp on them, but rather amplifying moderate credible voices in the region and throughout civil society,” Deputy National Security Advisor Lisa Monaco said.

Meanwhile, the US military’s Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East, “has a robust online engagement programme that harnesses the professional talents and expertise of both military members and contractors working together,” Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said.

“We operate using truthful information directed toward regional audiences to combat ISIL lies and deception,” he added using another acronym for the group.

According to Stengel, these efforts are successful. “There is now five times as much messaging on social media that is anti-ISIL than pro-ISIL, again, mostly in Arabic.”

However, some experts say that these efforts are useless because Daesh is still able to broadcast its messages even to a shrinking audience and some say that it is using other platforms such as Telegram to disseminate its messages.

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