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Author Biography

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University in the School of Medicine and Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) where she heads the Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narratives Project. Dr. Speckhard has interviewed nearly 600 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including Gaza, West Bank, Chechnya, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, the Balkans and many countries in Europe.

Ardian Shajkovci, Ph.D. is the Director of Research and a Senior Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Nichols College teaching counterterrorism and cybersecurity courses.

Claire Wooster is a Junior Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE).

Neima Izadi is an Administrative and Junior Research Fellow and Administrative assistant at the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE).

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.11.3.1679

Abstract

This article reports on The International Center for Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE’s) small-scale Facebook ad awareness campaigns ran between December 7, 2017 and December 31, 2017 in the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. Two ICSVE-produced videos were used, namely The Promises of ad-Dawlah to Women, featuring the testimony of a Belgian female ISIS defector, and Today is the Female Slave Market in ad-Dawlah, featuring a Syrian male ISIS defector who witnessed the sexual enslavement of women by ISIS. The purpose of the campaign was to reach as many English-speaking individuals in U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia to drive engagement with the ICSVE-produced videos as well raise awareness about the dangers of joining or considering joining a violent extremist group like ISIS. The ad generated a reach of over 1 million and almost 604K video views. In addition to important engagement and awareness metrics, the qualitative impact analysis of generated comments was promising in terms of initiating important discussions on the dangers emanating from violent extremist groups like ISIS.

Acknowledgements

The International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism thanks the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, D.C. for their partial support to the Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project.

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