Bored of selective outrage

March 19, 2017

When I first heard the news about yesterday’s incident at Orly Airport in Paris, my first thought was ‘I hope he’s not Muslim’. I’m not Muslim. So why do I care? Because I’m bored of the constant stream of outrage. I dislike how people on Twitter and Facebook revel in lambasting all Muslims because of … Read more

Inciting the Interwebs: A short history of ISIS propaganda

March 5, 2017

ISIS is becoming old news these days. Recent coverage of the group talks about reclaiming its territory, freeing its captives, or the implications of its dwindling supply of funds. One gets the impression that the group’s very survival is now on the line. To an extent, ISIS has lost some of its former potency. Written … Read more

Book review: Islamic State, the Digital Caliphate

February 19, 2017

The digital world has been a central feature of the Islamic State’s rise to power, driving much of its recruitment as well as building and maintaining its fearsome image. But the strategy behind the mastery has remained mysterious. Islamic State (ISIS) keeps its operations hidden, to leverage the power of surprise and create a sense … Read more

From mosques to swastikas: Images of terrorism

February 3, 2017

In November 2016 the terrorist Thomas Mair was sentenced to life in prison for the politically-motivated murder of Jo Cox, MP. Many news outlets featuring headlines about the verdict chose to place quote marks around the word ‘terrorist’. Other terms used in the media to describe Mair included ‘deranged white supremacist’, ‘far-right fanatic’, and ‘neo-Nazi’. … Read more

Fearful milieux: Perceptions of Islam in an age of Trump

January 30, 2017

Muslims living and working in the United States are being forced to reconsider their futures in light of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, announced this week. Citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Somalia will be denied entry for 90 days while the new Trump administration “tightens” already draconian visa laws. … Read more

Ranking CVE effectiveness around the world

January 17, 2017

Ranking countries and cities on their various merits is a familiar concept to practitioners of place branding. Can this approach be used to rank the effectiveness of global CVE efforts? Many rankings have been created assessing everything from a nation’s dollar brand value to the level of good deeds it contributes to the world as … Read more

Nuanced communities: Mapping ISIS support on Twitter

January 17, 2017

As every content marketer knows, creating resonant narratives requires intimate knowledge of the audience in question. Nowhere is this more true than in attempts to counter the potent messaging of ISIS. The terrorist group is infamous for its ability to attract recruits from across the world to commit violence in the name of the ‘caliphate.’ … Read more

Book review: Propaganda and Counter-terrorism

January 15, 2017

First published in 2015, Emma Briant’s book Propaganda and Counter-terrorism has gained relevance in recent months, as the world comes to terms with the power of propaganda to propel dramatic social and political changes. At the time of writing, there are just days left before Donald Trump enters the White House, amid a furore of fake … Read more