If there’s one way to stand up to ISIS, I guess, it’s with memes.
This past January, Japanese Twitter users uploaded images Photoshopped with anime as a way to defy ISIS.
Around that same time, net users on Japan’s largest bulletin board 2ch created ISIS-chan anime girls (which were, perhaps, inspired by Tumblr images dating from late last year).
The BBC (via IT Media) recently did a story on how Anonymous was “ramping up efforts to tackle sympathisers of the Islamic State group on Twitter.” Their method, the BBC reported, was to flood ISIS-friendly accounts with anime girls.
However, Japanese Twitter account ISIS Vipper is claiming responsiblity and is targeting ISIS-friendly Twitter accounts Anonymous previously uploaded to a Pastebin. These accounts have been allegedly spreading propaganda.
As ISIS Vipper points out, there are rules about using ISIS-chan, such as not insulting Islam, not posting gore and not posting pornography as well as being respectful to Muslim beliefs and the victims and hostages.
[Image via isisvipper]
[Image via aylan7x]
The idea is that ISIS-chan, with her cute anime looks and love of melons, neutralizes the horrific ISIS images circulating online. The ISIS Vipper “team” says it “disrupts” ISIS propaganda.
The Japanese Twitter account is uploading photos like this by spamming commonly used ISIS themed hashtags.
This is about message control and battling propaganda and fear with memes by reducing ISIS to anime characters. To some, it might come off as trivial, making light of a horrific events and making them “cute.” Maybe it is. Or perhaps, this is the only way for some to exercise control.
The Japanese text reads: “You thought this was going to be a gruesome image? Too bad! It was ISIS-chan.”
Top image via BBC
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.