Japanese members of the Anonymous “hacktivist” group have found their own way fighting back at ISIS: by turning the image of ISIS from a horrifying terrorist into a cartoon girl who loves to cut melons.
Anime news network explains :
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As such, Twitter accounts belonging to individuals spreading pro-Islamic State messages are being bombarded by images of “ISIS-chan,” a 19-year-old girl clad in a modified burqa. Instead of committing violence, she uses her knife to cut up melons, her favorite food.
Anonymous encourages people to draw images of “ISIS-chan” and spread them on social media in the hopes of affecting Google search results for “Islamic state,” “ISIS,” “ISIL” or “Daesh.” “They did it to make these people — who try to be terrifying — look ridiculous,” according to anti-terrorist Twitter user @GenKnoxx. “That’s the idea. To de-fang ISIS.” Over 3,000 ISIS-chan images have already been posted, but so far search results have barely been affected — an ISIS-chan picture was the 335th image result for an “ISIS” search on Google.co.jp.
@isisvipper , the homepage for the movement, has some ground rules. To avoid inflaming religious sensibilities, Islam, the Koran, or the Prophet Muhammad are off-limits. Pornographic or bloody images are also discouraged (although several push the limits). Any depiction of hostages must also “be careful.”
ISIS-chan has her origins in a 2channel thread from January 24, after two Japanese hostages were beheaded by the Islamic State. The character’s basic profile and appearance was agreed upon then (as seen below), but she has since taken on a life of her own.
CNN Money reports :
It starts with the vibrant worldwide community that loves Japanese anime. Some of them have created a cute animated character as a sort of ISIS mascot.
The goal? Hijack the terrorist group’s message and replace it with a girl that’s oh-so-adorable.
Right now, if you search online for the term “ISIS,” you’ll be pelted with images of intimidating thugs murdering innocent people and waving AK-47s and black flags.
Anti-ISIS activists want to reverse that, so that when you search for “ISIS,” you get this cute girl instead. To achieve that, activists have put out an open call to everyone around the world who can doodle.
It’s essentially a “Google bomb,” a war of attrition where images are ammunition and “search engine optimization” is the rule of engagement.
“The World Wide Web is our battlefield,” the group told CNNMoney on Thursday. “We want to change the meaning of the term ‘ISIS’.”
ISIS-chan wears the terrorist group’s black clothing. She has green eyes and dark hair. She’s 19. And if she’s holding a knife, it’s only because she loves to slice and eat delicious melons.
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