The Obama Administration has today unveiled another new “anti-terror task force” whose primary purpose is to go online and “push back against online propaganda” from ISIS and other anti-US groups. Details are still scant, but the White House has been meeting with Silicon Valley executives, suggesting major US companies will be involved.
The new task force will be formally under the control of the Department of Homeland Security, while the Justice Department and State Department are also said to be involved. The State Department in particular presented it was planning “social media campaigns” to offer a “positive alternative” to the ISIS narrative.
Which suggests this is just the latest in a long line of administration attempts to establish a rival US propaganda wing on social media, something that’s been tried, and failed miserably, several times already.
The US has seen ISIS propaganda as a huge problem for years, with the group’s ability to keep its message online successfully despite intense efforts to shut them down. US alternative narratives, by contrast, have felt extremely bureaucratic and aren’t getting much currency among readers, mostly just getting retweeted by various government officials.