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ISIS REVAMPS IDENTITY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

21, November 2014: The reach of social media can never be undoubted. This is perhaps the reason why organized groups like the Islamic State or Isis is addressing issues thrown against them through the social media medium. This can be shown from their latest video releases of statements from their journalist hostages. Here are some of the tactics that this organized group employs to counter bad press and public opinion about their organization. 

1. Forcing Their Captives to Release Statement 

This tactic can be shown from the latest release of videos showing their journalist hostage John Cantlie. In this video, Cantlie releases a statement essentially stating that him and other hostages are living harmoniously with their captors and that if there are tortures or punishment being imposed upon them it’s attributed to the fact that they try to escape or has done something wrong. 

These kinds of statements imply that Isis is treating their hostages humanely, contrary to the write-ups about them from various world renowned newspapers. 

2. Giving a Humane Face to their Captors 

If there’s one thing that Isis is known for, it’s their cruel treatment of their prisoners and the beheadings they have committed to some of their journalist hostages. This violent act has achieved clamor around the world for the expurgation of this organized group. 

Yet again, Isis is smartly using social media to address these issues. In the recently shown videos, Cantlie is being shown dressed in street clothes and claiming among others that during their captivity, they are allowed certain small comforts. All of these are aimed at implying that Isis is not as cruel as the western media perpetuates it to be. 

3. Perpetuates that it is a Villain with a Cause 

It’s but human nature to sympathize with a villain fighting with a cause. With the recently released statements of Isis hostages, it seems that this is what Isis wants the public to believe. This again can be gleamed from the statements of Cantlie in the recent videos claiming that their families back home have reached to their respective governments but their governments seems not to heed their pleas of help. All of these statements are geared toward implying that the government of hostages is not doing all it can to save them. 

What Changed in the Isis Approach? 

If before, Isis uses drastic, violent and explicit videos of beheading to make their point across, it seems that now they are employing a different tactic. They are now using their hostages to make statements to counter the imputed violent acts against them. Despite the fact that they have not released any information about their captives, what is certain is that Isis will always use social media to advance their cause. 

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