‘Im­pos­si­ble’ to beat Is­lamic State on­line

Computer Active (UK) - - Letters -

I hope this doesn’t sound too pes­simistic and doom-laden, but I don’t there’s any­thing we can do to de­feat Is­lamic State on­line (‘Ques­tion of the Fort­night’, Is­sue 503). The move­ment is sim­ply too large, and the bar­bar­ity of its mem­bers so in­grained, to be chal­lenged by anti-ji­hadist ad­verts from Western gov­ern­ments. It’s an im­pos­si­ble task.

We have to take a step back and ask not whether they can be beaten on­line, but why their sick ide­ol­ogy ex­ists in the first place, and that’s a com­plex ques­tion with no sim­ple an­swer. I fear it will take decades for Is­lamic State’s ha­tred of the West to sub­side. More mod­er­ate gen­er­a­tions will need to oust the ex­trem­ists. Un­til that hap­pens, the ter­ror­ists will use the most modern tech­nol­ogy avail­able to spread their evil pro­pa­ganda. At the mo­ment that’s the in­ter­net. In 20 years, they may be us­ing some­thing else.

Colin Coyne

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