Q. How does ISIS use social media channels to bring its message to a global audience, and recruit new members from far corners of the world?
A. ISIS is incredibly sophisticated in terms of their understanding and use of social media and encrypted online communications. They distribute slick recruitment videos with compelling narratives, polished production techniques, and handsome 'actors' appealing directly to targeted audiences. Compared to Al-Qaeda’s amateurish films captured on low-quality recording devices and smuggled out to news outlets, the films, images and messages created and distributed by ISIS via social media channels, rival some of the very best creative content produced for brands.
Q. What specific methods do they use?
A. The key to their success is identifying target audiences and appealing to them on different platforms. For the disgruntled and disenfranchised, they produce content in local languages with recent recruits who can say, “I was you, look at me now.” They carefully seek out people who might identity with ISIS. The reach and granularity of social media means they can find and talk directly to people in every corner of the globe.