I dislike the use of the Internet by terrorist groups. Videos of ISIS beheading captives are widely circulated video across the Internet. ISIS uses the medium platform of YouTube to upload beheading videos of innocent people that they hold captive. In these videos they allow the captives to say their “final words.” In these final words, the captives are blaming the United States government for their death. The way terrorist groups abuse their power through the Internet is displayed by the content they produce on social media. It is written to seem as though the captives are expressing these thoughts as their own but in all essence it is most likely written by the capturers. One video that was uploaded was of a US journalist. James Foley, an US journalist was doing a story in Syria where he disappeared, most likely abducted by ISIS. Foley and many other journalists who went to Syria to cover the Islamic war magically disappeared. During the beheading video of James Foley, other journalists were shown as a message to the president to put an end to the bombings in Iraq. Foley’s Last Words
These propaganda videos are ways to scare the US and its government with the use of misconstruing the media. Assuming the original beheading video was removed off YouTube. They are then able to use these videos, tweets, Facebook posts and forums into online radicalisation tools, whereby they are able to glamorise ‘extremism’ and make it appear as though fighting with them is ‘cool’ (Awan, 2017). As I researched more on Foley and the beheading video, some believed it was a hoax. The video was a clear visual of someone beheading a person with active images and blood spewing; the authenticity of the video was surprisingly questioned. During my research on Foley and his efforts to report on the Syrian war his extent of getting news coverage of ISIS ultimately caused him his death. ISIS use different media outlets to upload their propagandas. Being that older propagandas are not familiar to me, I highly doubt they were done through the use of social media or media outlets for that matter. It’s sort of like a contradiction. ISIS abduct journalist who are reporting on them. These journalists are doing stories on ISIS and the government who expose them and their militant plan. It is everything ISIS needs in order to try and obtain control or somewhat control of the US government. They could of used these journalist to their advantage and gel them to do reports with insight on why they choose to bomb the US and what views of the American people or government that they dislike the most. Instead of working with the journalists and some how incorporating them in their plan to control the US government. ISIS strategies of instilling fear in the American people are so far their propaganda and they are succeeding in accomplishing their goal.
The Internet is a growing source of information. While there are some electronic versions of other kinds of media, there are also Internet-specific sources. The Internet also provides a forum for the average citizen to voice his or her opinion for the world to hear. With the help of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, where these terrorist take pride in updating on these platforms to recruit people and help carry out their plans for destruction. As new media technologies and transformations in the way in which images can be produced and circulated increase visual interconnectivity across borders and facilitate new ways of communicating the horrors of war, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand war and violence without taking visual media into account (Friis, 2015). Not only do terrorist organizations use social media platforms to help recruit for their group but they also raise money for their organization and teach people how to recreate and detonate bombs and how to kill a US service person. Also, the terrorist group ISIS use of YouTube to upload beheading videos is increasing in popularity because after the first video of the journalist Foley, there were more videos of different Americans who were abducted in Syria. ISIS especially uses the Internet to manipulate the United States government. They understand the affect of the Internet in the western and how much they use the Internet to research political and global news. Having this type of information easily accessible can sometimes not be helpful because the yearning to want to learn more about these terrorist groups can create an interest. Without the help of the media I do believe terrorist organizations would not be as successful in domestic terrorist attacks by influenced citizens.
FRIIS, S. M. (2015). ‘Beyond anything we have ever seen’: beheading videos and the visibility of violence in the war against ISIS. International Affairs, 91(4), 725-746.
Awan, I. (2017). Cyber-extremism: Isis and the power of social media. Society, 54(2), 138-149. doi:10.1007/s12115-017-0114-0