“BREAKING: People Who Join ISIS Have Nicknames!”

These headlines are always so amazing.

“BREAKING: ISIS Members Eat Skittles!”

“BREAKING: ISIS Members Like Kittens!”

These are also real stories, and I’ll tell you why they’re worse than just stupid — they’re actively harmful.
Media fascination with ISIS’ members engaging in normal human activities demonstrates something I’m always screaming about.

It’s comforting to see them as Evil ™ - beyond comprehension.

Monstration only mystifies the problem you want to solve.
Are ISIS the kind of people I’d invite to my home for dinner? Um, try: heeeeeeell nah.

Are ISIS members monsters? Uncomfortably, also...no.

They’re humans.
Making a media fetish out of the fact that ISIS members eat chocolate arises from, and contributes to, audience fascination with these beasts who somehow exhibit human characteristics.

That’s super stupid, if you’d like to defeat them — for many reasons.
This view of ISIS as Evil ™ — utterly monstrous — is the exact goal of their brand identity for opponents.

You make a fetish out of the propaganda you fall for.

I wrote about the phenomenon here:

Media fixations with ISIS members’ SHOCKINGLY HUMAN boring habits serves only to further entrench the precise daMn goal of ISIS propaganda in the public’s mind.

Dismiss them monsters — and you’ll never see them coming.
Anyway, if you’re interested in more of my thoughts on this (and have two hours to kill), here’s my MASSIVE thread on how this counterproductive ISIS monster fetish relates to Shamima Begum and jihadi brides, etc:

(Trigger warnings: all of them.)

Aaaaaaaand this thread has been a handy reminder that I need to get the hell of Twitter — and back to writing the damn book instead of a Twitter thread.

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