State Department Wants To Troll Terrorists Online
from the because-that'll-make-them-change-their-minds dept
Of course, that's not the only approach. Spencer Ackerman, over at Wired's Danger Room blog, has a fascinating story about a guy at the State Department (with almost no budget) who is trying to ramp up a plan, called Viral Peace, which is basically all about using social media to troll terrorists and extremists online in the hope of convincing some to give up.
The program, called Viral Peace, seeks to occupy the virtual space that extremists fill, one thread or Twitter exchange at a time. Shahed Amanullah, a senior technology adviser to the State Department and Viral Peace’s creator, tells Danger Room he wants to use “logic, humor, satire, [and] religious arguments, not just to confront [extremists], but to undermine and demoralize them.” Think of it as strategic trolling, in pursuit of geopolitical pwnage.While I certainly appreciate this idea more than the outright censorship plan that Lieberman seems to like, I do wonder if the program might backfire by doing the exact opposite of what they're trying to do. Trolling has its place and can rile people up, but I'm not sure it's ever effective in getting anyone to change their position. In fact, it can often make people dig their heels in even deeper...