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Digital warfare: Users of the popular site 4chan quacks up a storm against ISIS

Activists using the social media platform 4chan has launched a relatively innocent attack against ISIS in an attempt to mock and humiliate the extremist militant group. After the hacktivist group Anonymous declared their own war against ISIS there has been a huge number of groups and themes created to mock the jihadist group. “Create the Duck State” is such an attempt to denigrate the propaganda posters created by ISIS in order to recruit new members.


Modern warfare operates using various platforms, and social media has become a meeting place for activists and hacktivists all operating under the mask of the ever-expanding Anonymous. In direct response to the terrorist attack in Paris, the hacktivist group Anonymous declared war against ISIS and stated that they should “..be prepared for a massive retaliation from Anonymous.” However, Anonymous are not an organized group within itself, and contains members from all over the world, and we can therefore expect retaliation in various degrees and forms. One of the social media attacks comes in the form of an online thread which originated on 4chan by a member calling out to other members to edit ISIS propaganda posters and replacing their weapons with toilet brushes and faces with ducks. The online campaign attempts to humiliate the terrorist group, and creates something laughable out of a very dark situation.


4chan’s members has since the sites launching used the platform to anonymously post provocative images and has created new terms such as Trolling and Lullz by attacking various groups in society using the internet as their weapon of choice. “Create the Duck State” is a modern way to unarm and counterfeit propaganda which are aimed at recruiting new members to build and expand the Islamic State. A 4chan member explains the campaign as follows; “This is how we fight Daesh. Humiliate them.”

Social media has become a way to recruit members to all activist groups and political movements alike. ISIS use this technique by posting videos and images of their agenda and methods as a scare tactic and to draw attention to their group. This method is often used to terrorize targets and create attention to a movement. By creating these edited images 4chan members and Anonymous hacktivists hope to disarm and ridicule the jihads. Another member of 4chan comments; “When 4chan trolls for good, the world quacks in fear.”


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