Calling their campaign #OpISIS, the hacktivist group Anonymous is targeting ISIS’s social media presence:
The group is claiming responsibility for taking down hundreds of ISIS social media accounts. To add, the group is also claimed responsibility for exposing accounts on Facebook and twitter that have maintained contact with ISIS and served as recruiting tools. The group has published an immense list of social media and even email accounts it claimed are linked to ISIS. Anonymous further claims there is more to come.
Declaring themselves to be a collection of various religious affiliations and orientations and proclaiming ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) to not be Muslims, Anonymous has essentially declared a virtual war against the organization. The recent burning of the Jordanian pilot and the video going viral on even mainstream networks (WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE) has only further isolated ISIS as their grotesque behavior has basically brought the whole world against it. To add, the group is still reeling from their substantial defeat in Kobane in Syria.
However, ISIS is a resilient organization and its presence on social media has been acknowledged as a major recruiting tool by the FBI. Video Games have even entered the fray as ISIS has turned the military simulation Arma III to allow players to play as the organization. As well, in the real world, ISIS recruitment numbers have been going up rather than down.
Whether Anonymous will be able to make a substantial mark on ISIS remains to be seen. The exposure and takedown of ISIS’s social media network may very well be only a part of a much broader scope in order to mortally defeat the organization. Despite Anonymous’s tenacity and effectiveness thus far, the virtual battlefield will probably not decide ISIS’s fate, but it could swing the balance in its opposition’s favor.
So what is your take? Will Anonymous succeed in harming ISIS’s recruitment efforts? Can wars be won on the virtual plain? Give us your take in the comments section. Political views are acceptable, but keep it civil.