The Islamic State (ISIS) has built a sophisticated and impactful online propaganda campaign using many social media networks, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp. The group employs experts in the areas of marketing, PR and visual content production to ensure the legitimate appearance of its messages. The intended goals of the campaign – mainly recruiting new members (including westerners), inciting fear in adversaries, creating a united front geographically and raising funds – are consistently being achieved.
We have seen social media platforms act as channels for virtual grassroots campaigns, where the voices of millions coalesce into a single actionable goal. ISIS has taken this use of these platforms a step further by mastering the art of taking the voices of few and making them sound like the voices of millions. It is important that social media users understand the real-world impact this type of propaganda can have, because unfortunately social media is not always used for good.
This infographic from ZeroFox looks at this in more detail.