An attempt by Islamic State jihadis to rally hundreds of supporters to bombard Facebook posts with pro-ISIS propaganda proved rather unsuccessful, leaving the organizers dumbfounded.
Islamic State militants instructed about 400 members in a private Telegram group chat Saturday to “go full force” on an Al-Jazeera Facebook post.
They were instructed to counter rumors about ISIS and to post more flattering comments about the jihadi group. They even offered sample posts that members could copy/paste as comments.
In the Telegram posts seen by The Foreign Desk, the 400 members, who were warned ahead of time not to use foul language, were told that “if we have everyone participating at one time, we will dominate the whole post and make some seriously strong da’wah.”
‘Da’wah’ refers to a type of proselytizing, a requirement mandated by ISIS to spread their strict version of Sharia Law and Islam.
When only 30 members took action, however, the group’s organizers commented, “But what about the other 400? Where were u guys?”
“Wallah if we can just have half of you participating we would be able to hijack Obama’s posts in a breeze,” another post said.
Despite one post receiving almost 30 likes, militants formed another Telegram channel called “Content For Attacks” to create additional Facebook posts for ISIS members’ comments.
They also created back-up channels named “Moderate Islam Channel” and “Football Game Times,” just in case Telegram would take down the primary group chats.
The Islamic State favors using Telegram, a multi-platform messaging app that puts emphasis on privacy and security. The app was launched in 2013 by Nikolai and Pavel Durov, the founders of Russia’s popular social network, VK.
ISIS switched to the Telegram platform last year following continuous crackdowns by other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Despite shutting down many of the public channels, ISIS has continued to operate private channels that are often by invitation only.