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Isis are armed with smartphones, but so are we. Let’s fight them online

26 August 2014

I’ve written about online activism before. I thought the #nomakeupselfie was a vanity movement. The #bringbackourgirls one was self-righteous. I’ve had to bite my tongue mighty hard to hold back a rant about the #icebucketchallenge.

So I find myself somewhat hoist with my own petard, because I now want someone, anyone, to start a social media campaign directed at the lunatic members of Islamic State.

Why? Because it’s becoming pretty obvious that Isis’s most effective weapon is the smartphone. The group has been using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to great effect, to create a digital broth that has both panicked and fascinated us. Their graphic videos make front page news and their deranged tweets sway international diplomacy. Social media strategists round the world must be watching in awe.

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But so far, the only coordinated attempt to respond to this was with a social media ‘blackout’. #ISISMediaBlackout gathered pace after the beheading of James Foley, which was as dignified a response as possible following such a barbaric murder. A blackout can only go so far though if we want to ensure freedom of speech remains sacred. There will also always be people who peep at the pictures.

Where are the hashtag activists now – Muslims and every other creed – tweeting photos of themselves with signs reading #notinmyname? Where is the concerted effort on Instagram to show Isis that #wearenotscared? I sense it doesn’t exist because retaliating feels dangerous. In this instance, maybe it is a little bit dangerous. Certainly more so than pouring a bucket of icy water over your head or not wearing any makeup.

But that’s exactly why we should do it. Fight Isis where they seem to be doing a lot of their fighting: online. If ever there was an opportunity to put social media to good use, this is it. Isis are armed with smartphones, but then again, so are we.



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Show comments
  • NM156

    I plan on tipping ISIS off on the whereabouts of enemy liberals in the US. With any luck, we’ll be seeing some homespun headchopping filmed in abandoned American wearhouses on YouTube.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Someone put little Lara back in her cot will they before she annoys the grown-ups?

    Social media is the last refuge of the immature and the sub-intellectual

  • cartimandua

    Debunk their trash and the dimwits who fall under their spell might feel less noble about going off to kill.

  • cartimandua

    Lara is right. Most of us have met Islamist supporters online. Us oldies can only deal with what we know about. Its up to the young to deal with social media and geeks to deal with the dark net.
    Debunk their trash wherever ye may find it.

  • recklessness

    Yes, nothing like a tweet to stick it to em…these dummies need eliminating. Some spec ops on the ground painting targets will be a start.

  • Bonkim

    Yes but wer are not all that determined or bigoted to waste time on Twitter.

  • Scherzando Blaise Karasu Lucus

    #askislamicstate! Do some bloody research…

  • Jacques Strap

    Electromagnetic pulse should finish them off.

  • evad666

    Crimes of fraud have apparently been ignored by the Government in the UK. Is this silence like the case of Rotherham child abuse to hide the fact a significant proportion is perpetrated by Muslims?

  • Jose Martins

    “The group has been using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to great effect,
    to create a digital broth that has both panicked and fascinated us.”

    It didn’t fascinate me.
    What’s your problem?

    • English Majority

      Me too.

      Its not particularly ground-breaking what ISIS are doing, media-wise etc.

      In fact, they’re bad at it if anything. Their work is shoddy.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        They have only a muppet media class to impress though. As long as the media muppets are twittering back and forth and setting their hair on fire, the islamofascists have done their job. The muppet media class are just their tools.

    • John Gerard

      Looks pretty bog standard to me

  • laurence

    Lara, I think you’ll find that the A10 Thunderbolt will be just a tad more useful than an iPhone.

    • Advocatus_Diaboli_69


      Far less than 140 characters too

  • startledcod

    How come their postings on Twitter, Instagram and anything else aren’t taken down very quickly?

  • GraveDave

    Ah yes, social media, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, smartphones… these barbarians and savages know exactly how to take the p i s s out of the twentieth first century, don’t they.

  • English Majority

    Because Lara, if you’re White, and you do this, you’re very likely to be either locked up, have your house raided by the police, be stalked by Islamic hackers, or be killed by Muslims and other immigrants.

    • Bonkim

      Utter Tosh! You do what you want to and think right.

      • English Majority

        Wrong, Bonkim.

        • Bonkim

          May be you have lost your Englishness.

          • FrenchNewsonlin

            Salman Rushdie? Geert Wilders? .. and many others.

  • MrLouKnee

    I’d rather fight the Islamic State with 500lb bombs, not smart phones

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