All of us who watch the news hear how ISIS (Islamic State et al) are recruiting young people around the world by their fancy Dan websites. They have lots of money to put into the design, the subtle messaging, the impact of violent images and otherwise recruitment propaganda, that evidently appeals to a segment of the youth worldwide, even girls.
We’ve all seen portions of the death videos shown on T.V. put to music somewhere in what looks like some desert, while their victims, appearing drugged, disappear from sight. Too graphic to show.
So I got to thinking – about that design. Being the designer of my own sites and as an artist I wanted to actually see what one of those sites looked like. After all, we’re told repeatedly on the news shows that the internet is over-run with them. I also thought that if I could see one their highly sophisticated sites, that I could design a page, a site, that would be at least equally effective. I already have the message – Five Principles, that can be manipulated in a thousand different ways, tones etc. that all essentially mean the same thing: counter terrorism.
The government counters terrorism by applying terror tactics. Five Principles counter with the opposite of terrorism, focusing on living and thriving. Wake Up The Planet for a better life – for all.
A former FBI guy said once on T.V. that the government didn’t have the resources to develop such a site that would counter the sites of ISIS. I found it striking that the government, with all their bells and whistles and talent, and expertise in controlling the masses, couldn’t do it.
I’ve never clicked onto any beheading videos or searched for the world renowned ISIS websites. The other night, in the interest of design I decided to search. I started with ‘google’ then went to ‘ask jeeves’ and whatever was on one was on the other. And I used many different search words and combinations of words.
Oh sure, lots of sites had titles and/or excerpts that made one believe they were going to an ISIS site, but once there, except for a few violent images, which didn’t look all that real, men with guns, a few videos that once clicked on, a message popped up saying that it had been removed, there was nothing that could be construed as sophisticated, top of the line design, or propaganda messages. They relied heavily on the same news reports that we’ve all been seeing over the many months, plus analyses of those reports – information already circulated by the government. You could read Wikipedia and get as much. In fact I did.
Some sites were written in academia fashion by professors teaching at universities, others by news related people and still others by obviously the government. I kept wondering, kids don’t read – especially long-winded, boring material that sounded more like a history class than a propaganda tool, so where’s the high-powered, sophisticated recruitment sites?
I searched for hours and never found one site. So how can fifteen year old kids find the sites with a click of a mouse?
My view is that they can’t. They can read the excerpt that makes them think they’re going into an ISIS site, but once they click onto the title, they’re in a government site, and from there the government clocks them as having entered and now will follow them wherever they go, being listed as a person of interest, or some other descriptive phrase.
A few of the sites were even on Word Press, so you know they weren’t real ISIS sites.
I suppose that I’m listed as one of those people of interest now. But they already follow me, in real time on the computer and anywhere I go outside the home.
So the government isn’t countering ISIS websites, wherever they are (I couldn’t find one), by competing designs and messages. They’re catching you searching for ISIS, then nab you when you click onto one of their bait sites.