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Jobs of the Future: Anti-Jihad Troll

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.

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  • Walter Sobchak

    At last, a constructive role for [name of commenter deleted].

  • Tom Holsinger

    WRM might peruse Sefton Delmer’s _Black Boomerang_ and consider how this might backfire. Mr. Delmer ran a British “black” operation in World War Two which, among many other things, had a radio station in Egypt spout pro-German propaganda in various Balkan languages (Bulgarian comes to mind) with ostentatious German accents.

    Even Iran’s mullah regeime ran a satellite TV program for Iranians in America which featured an actor pretending to be a mullah spy in LA who preferred it here, and kept coming up with comic scams on his superiors in Tehran so they’d let him stay. The exiles in LA loved it.

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