When Al Qaeda solicited "media development" ideas from Twitter, it was never going to turn out well.
J.M. Berger, an investigative reporter who covers extremism and terrorism, urged followers to provide the terror organization with media advice. The Arabic hashtag Al Qaeda used, #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي, roughly translates to “suggestions for the development of jihadi media.”
Hey everybody, Al Qaeda is using this hashtag to solicit ideas for media ops #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي -- you should all send some.— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 13, 2013
Twitter users, including Berger, inevitably hijacked the tag with a trove of facetious PR suggestions.
J.J. Abrams show about mysterious island where AQ operatives crash then kill each other over arcane theology #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 13, 2013
Auction off the cabinet Osama bin Laden filmed his videos in front of #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 13, 2013
My suggestion for Al Qaeda's woes: sell Osama's porn collection on eBay. #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— Chris Forewit (@forewit) August 13, 2013
Waziristan's Top 10 Romantic Restaurants #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— Challah Hu Akbar (@ChallahHuAkbar) August 13, 2013
Top 10 list of reasons we suddenly like Morsi #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 13, 2013
New jihadi training video: Out with the monkey bars, in with hot yoga #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 13, 2013
Send Ibrahim al-Asiri on Top Gear to be the Star in the reasonably priced car bomb. #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— Zedd Rebel (@ZeddRebel) August 14, 2013
Knock-knock jokes are nice. Everybody can appreciate a good knock-knock joke. #اقتراحك_لتطوير_الإعلام_الجهادي— DWD (@fasteddie9318) August 14, 2013
Relay race. No baton. Stick of TNT. You don't want to be penalized for taking too long. Or do you? #اقتراحك_لتطوير_الإعلام_الجهادي— Troy Fokker (@Corsair8X) August 14, 2013
Al Qaeda the movie: Dude, where's my car bomb? #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— Charlie (@timmyconspiracy) August 13, 2013
Say a special hello to the NSA, too. #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي— Jessica (@MoonUponAStick) August 14, 2013
Make a documentary called Bacon and the reasons we're angry at the world #اقتراحك_لتطوير_الإعلام_الجهادي— Eben Bosman (@EbenBosman) August 14, 2013
Tree hugging, finger painting, free dance, artisanal breadmaking, & watching butterflies #اقتراحك_لتطوير_الإعلام_الجهادي— Gert (@Gert) August 14, 2013
Flooding the tag with banality had a tangible effect on extremists, who openly use Twitter for propaganda and recruitment. "[O]n top of giving jihadis a sad, you are actually making it harder for them to get terrorism work done," Berger argued. Jihadists were infuriated.
H/T BuzzFeed | Photo via XXX
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