Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | state | department | twitter | Facebook

US Hits Back at ISIS on Twitter and Facebook

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 07:02 PM

The U.S. State Department has a hard-hitting Twitter account that posts messages seeking to dissuade people from joining such terrorists groups as the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaida.

A post — dated Tuesday, for instance — showed a composite of four dead ISIS fighters killed with text saying that the airstrikes in Syria that killed them were "a major step to getting the job done," the Metro website of the U.K. reports.

That tweet on the account — "Think Again Turn Away" — was later deleted, according to Metro.

The account is run by the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), a State Department unit created in 2011 seeks to counter the jihadist propaganda of ISIS and other terrorist groups, the Telegraph of London reports.

A State Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a Newsmax query.

"What we're doing is very different from anything else in US government public communications," said Alberto Fernandez, the CSCC's top official, told the Telegraph in May. He is a career diplomat who speaks fluent Arabic.

"Our goal is not to make people love the U.S.," he said. "Our goal is to make al-Qaida look bad."

On the Twitter account, a Friday tweet showed one of nine terror suspects linked to ISIS who were arrested by Moroccan government in Spain:


Another message, also dated Friday, showed a picture of Iraqi farmers:


The campaign includes a Facebook account and YouTube postings. ISIS members have beheaded three Westerners in recent weeks, posting their executions on the Internet.

"Our mission is to expose the facts about terrorists and their propaganda," the Facebook account says. "Don’t be misled by those who break up families and destroy their true heritage."

The Facebook page shows a picture of bloodied Iraqis with text asking, "Is this an act to be proud of?"

The page had 6,823 "likes" as of Friday afternoon. The Twitter account has about 11,200 followers.

The online accounts also include videos in English and Arabic that are similar in style to those used by ISIS and al-Qaida, Metro reports.

A study by The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto cited by Metro said that Iraqi officials block mobile messaging apps and social media platforms — but they have failed to stop seven websites that are affiliated with or that support the Islamic State.

New accounts appear almost as quickly as old accounts are reported and taken down.

"It’s hard to wage a war with ideas online," Abdulaziz Al-Mulhem, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Information and Culture, told Metro. "When we talk about monitoring or controlling social media, it is like trying to control air — and this, of course, is hard."

Facebook says it has 71 million active monthly users in the Middle East, according to data from the Dubai School of Government cited in the Metro report. As many as 70 percent of the Facebook users in the Arab region are 15 to 29 years old.

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The U.S. State Department has a hard-hitting Twitter account that posts messages seeking to dissuade people from joining such terrorists groups as the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaida.
state, department, twitter, Facebook
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2014-02-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 07:02 PM
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