Over at Wired’s Danger Room, Spencer Ackerman reports on a new State Department anti-terror initiative:
In the decade since 9/11, the U.S. government has used a wide variety of tactics against terrorists. It’s invaded countries where they operated (and ones where they didn’t). It’s tried to win the backing of foreign populations in which the terrorists hide. And it’s sent commandos and deadly flying robots to kill them one by one.One thing it hasn’t done, until now: troll them.Within the State Department, a Silicon Valley veteran has quietly launched an improbable new initiative to annoy, frustrate and humiliate denizens of online extremist forums.
This program is still in its fledgling stages, but if you’re a young person who can read Arabic and decode the social media of a Middle Eastern country, the State Department may have work for you. So might a journalistic outlet looking to deepen its coverage.Indeed, as social media becomes more and more a key component of everything from marketing to anti-terror strategy, foreign language skills, cultural competency, and tech smarts will prove a potent combination for those seeking employment. Even internet trolls may find a constructive outlet for their talents.Not that Via Meadia readers would know from such things.