(ISIS photo)

Linear Relationships Between Islamic State’s Extent of Territorial Control and Its Visual Messaging Campaign

The importance of online media campaigns to non-state, militant groups is difficult to overstate and a folly to ignore. Online media efforts spread information about attack methods (Gill & Corner, 2015Gill et al, 2017Gill, Horgan & Deckert, 2014), ideological worldviews (Wignell, Tan & O’Halloran, 2017Wignell et al., 2017), and societal narratives (Ingram 2017Kuznar, 2015Winter 2015). They also define the boundaries of those who should identify with the envisioned community (Bean & Buikema, 2015Bruscella & Bisel, 2018Schoenborn & Scherer, 2012Stohl and Stohl, 2011) in ways that facilitate fundraising (Atwan 2015Mandaville, 2010), recruitment (Kraidy, 2018Rudner, 2017), and radicalisation (Precht 2007Schmid 2015; von Behr et al, 2013).

The potential impact of militant, non-state media campaigns has led to a greater emphasis by scholars on factors that correspond with changes in such group’s media output levels and strategic content. One interaction that has attracted the recent attention of several security scholars is the relationship between the amount of controlled territory of a militant, non-state group and the level of output and nature of content of media campaigns. Territorial control emerges as a critical variable due to the fact that it often functions as an explicit goal of militant, non-state groups either in the short- or long-term.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology

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