President Selfie-In-Chief is going to fight ISIS on the only battle-ground he knows anything about – social media propaganda.
From the Daily Beast:
The Obama administration is turning to HBO, Snapchat, and a controversial, Oscar-winning screenwriter to help them fight ISIS.
Earlier this year, the State Department convened a group of friends in the U.S. film industry, social media, and premium cable TV to brainstorm ways to counter jihadist propaganda.
In June, State Department officials and counterterrorism advisors traveled to Sunnylands (nicknamed the “Camp David of the West,” due to its history of being a super-exclusive vacation spot for celebrities and politicians) in Rancho Mirage, California, for a summit on how to effectively fight a propaganda and media war against extremist networks abroad. ISIS, for instance, has already mastered the art of ripping off Hollywood techniques to make recruiting and propaganda films, and basically has its own Twitter army. The June meetings were essentially a sequel to a three-day summit convened by the White House in February on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) through community-based strategies.
Oh boy, watch out ISIS, we’re going to behead you with snarky tweets, and carpet bomb you with snapchat posts!! It’ll be like Normandy, but on the beaches of facebook and Instagram!!
“U.S. filmmakers and social-media folks met with a bunch of international and regional filmmakers and broadcasters [at the Sunnylands estate],” a senior State Department official told The Daily Beast. “We had people who were at the top of their field. The goal was to continue the dialogue started at the [White House] summit.”
Sunnylands was in charge of pulling together the roster of talent, and invited the State Department to participate. One of the goals was to connect Middle Eastern filmmakers with influential Hollywood figures to start plotting “how to engage and empower storytellers [to] create alternative and positive narratives, and how to talk about youth empowerment,” according to the official, who works on these initiatives.
But even though President Buzzfeed has done so great propagandizing Americans, most of his efforts to propagandize FOR America has failed short:
“ISIS’s message is that Muslims are being killed and that they’re the solution,” Alberto Fernandez, coordinator at the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, told The Atlantic earlier this year. “We don’t have a counter-narrative that speaks to that. What we have is half a message: ‘Don’t do this.’ But we lack the ‘do this instead.’ That’s not very exciting. The positive narrative is always more powerful, especially if it involves dressing in black like a ninja, having a cool flag, being on television, and fighting for your people.”
Ah well. That’s encouraging.