'Trolling' may be next weapon to 'humiliate' terrorists online
Washington, July 19 (ANI): The US, which has used a wide variety of tactics to ward off terrorists and terror attacks such as commandos, drones and undercover operations, may adopt a new method to 'troll' denizens of online extremist forums.
A Silicon Valley veteran, within the State Department is building a program, called Viral Peace, which seeks to occupy the virtual space that extremists fill with one thread or Twitter exchange at a time.
Shahed Amanullah, a senior technology adviser to the State Department and Viral Peace's creator, said he wants to use "logic, humor, satire, [and] religious arguments, not just to confront [extremists], but to undermine and demoralize them," like a "strategic trolling, in pursuit of geopolitical pwnage".
According to Wired Com, Al-Qaida's influence has waxed and waned during the past decade, but its adherents, both current and potential, have gradually drifted online. Forums like the password-protected Shumukh site host extremist bulletin boards, where regulars debate the finer points of jihadist theory and boast of grandiose plans to assassinate senior U.S. officials.
Amanullah explained that online extremists have "an energy, they've got a vitality that frankly attracts some of these at-risk people."
"It appeals to macho, it appeals to people's rebellious nature, it appeals to people who feel downtrodden," he said.
Amanullah, a 44-year old proud Muslim and proud California geek, was the editor-in-chief of the web magazine Altmuslim and started an online restaurant-rating service called Zabihah and also launched a business service called Halalfire to drive advertising to the Muslim consumer market.
However, while there are several steps ahead of Viral Peace, as it doesn't have a strategy yet, Amanullah and the State Department believe that its better they allow Muslims in various foreign countries figure out which message boards to troll and how to properly troll them.
Although the denizens of those forums might be scrubs, but the online havens have become increasingly, the town square for extremism, especially as drones and commandos batter the terrorists' physical sanctuaries.
White House officials declined to comment on the matter. (ANI)
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