On Politico, a view of how the U.S. State Department has been taking on social media to "out-tweet" the terrorists. While the idea is good -- it "contest the space" that had "previously been conceded to the enemy" -- the tweets are delivered with a tone reminiscing of "Reagan-era 'Just Say No' commercials – only this time it is terrorism, not drugs, they’re trying to scare everyone away from."
In practice, this means that the center, with its $5 million budget, verbally jousts with jihadists on social media all day long. Not a bad idea, according to experts like McCants. The problem is that it appears to be losing—at least when it comes to showing the quick thinking and verbal dexterity that so characterizes the big winners in the social-media universe. In an arena in which people are largely inured to the frequent intrusions of advertising, the center is conducting itself like it’s the only propaganda operation in town.
The way the program works is fairly simple: The State Department’s analysts follow online chatter about the latest ISIL victory or news of a recent al-Shabaab massacre in Kenya, and then they try to insert themselves into the conversation. The idea is less to sway committed terrorists than to persuade fence-sitters not to join up or provide material support.
But State’s messages usually arrive with all the grace of someone’s dad showing up at a college party. The posts tend to be blunt, adversarial, and plagued by poor Photoshop work. Typically, “Think Again Turn Away,” as the CSCC’s English-language Twitter account calls itself, delivers hectoring messages written in the schoolmarmish tone of Reagan-era “Just Say No” commercials – only this time it is terrorism, not drugs, they’re trying to scare everyone away from.
|Amazingly, Americans Don't Want Another War|
|Russians Want to Know if They Are at War|
|The Traditional Submarine is Becoming Obsolete|
|.50-Caliber-Bullets with In-Flight Guidance|
|"Alone, without human oversight, the missile decided which of three ships to attack."|
|“If you don’t remember any of these countries from geography class, you’re not alone.”|
|“The greatest economic crisis of our age: the one still awaiting us.”|
|"Cells have the capacity to process and respond to instructions and codes inputted into their main system."|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“Clicking on a Facebook advert may reveal things about yourself you don’t want anyone to know.”|
|“Any person, organization or government serious about web security should return to plain-text.”|
|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|
|"They’ve managed to plant, tend, and harvest an acre and a half of barley using only autonomous vehicles."|