Until recently, terrorists were almost exclusively dependent on mass media to promote their cause. Now, with the internet and modern social platforms they can produce and distribute most material themselves, creating increasingly complex and appealing ‘brands’. Luzie Bayreuther is fascinated by this development. In ‘(De)constructing Terrorism’, she analyses how terrorists communicate their message and applies these sophisticated methods to the fictitious terrorist group Socialist Action (SA). Mimicking the successful strategy of ISIS, she uses links to pop culture to engage her prospective audience. Loud hip hop music, killer dance routines, an eyecatching logo, video-game style fight sequences and heaps of attitude come together in a hard-hitting call to action. With a special plug-in on the SA website visitors can track design decisions from the initial research to the eventual marketing strategy. Terrorism feeds on fear. Demystifying the communication channels used can contribute to a better understanding. This may help to diminish the impact on society.
Photo by Nicole Marnati