As ISIS loses territory and suffers military defeats, the terrorist organization continues to expand its presence online, using the internet to recruit new members and disseminate its messages. Although governments have previously done the most to counter ISIS propaganda, private sector actors are increasingly aiding in this effort based on their industry expertise. A new and promising approach seeks to disrupt online recruiting efforts through targeted advertising.
On September 7, new tools and strategies private industry has developed for curating and disseminating anti-extremist content online were discussed. Yasmin Green, head of research and development at Jigsaw, presented the results of a pilot program they developed with Moonshot CVE, Quantum Communications, and the Gen Next Foundation. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Affairs Richard Stengel joined the panel to offer the U.S. government’s perspective on the role of the private sector in countering extremist propaganda.
William McCants, senior fellow and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
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At the end of the day, as we all know thorny national security issues don’t just involve the military; political-military considerations invariably bleed into them. If the senior military’s leadership views are going to be just constrained to military advice … who is thinking about issues from that broader perspective?