Anonymous Tries to Take Down ISIS with Moe Character
posted on by Eric Stimson
Ever since the Sunni rebel group, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Da'esh) took control of much of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014, Western governments and neighboring countries have puzzled over how to fight it. Should they go for a direct military intervention, or restrict their involvement to air strikes? Can other local rebel groups be trusted to put up a resistance? Can anything be done to hinder the spread of its radical Islamic ideology? While Japan has played a limited role in these discussions, Japanese members of the international hacker group Anonymous have a very Japanese idea: turn the image of the Islamic State from a terrifying rebel group into a harmless teenage girl.
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.
"But I just want to eat melons!"
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.
Some people opt to Photoshop ISIS-chan into pictures of Islamic State warriors to mock them.
@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.
Thanks to GracieLizzie for the tip!