In the decade since 9/11, the U.S. government has used a wide variety of tactics against terrorists. It’s invaded countries where they operated (and ones where they didn’t). It’s tried to win the backing of foreign populations in which the terrorists hide. And it’s sent commandos and deadly flying robots to kill them one by one.
One thing it hasn’t done, until now: troll them…
The program, called Viral Peace, seeks to occupy the virtual space that extremists fill, one thread or Twitter exchange at a time. Shahed Amanullah, a senior technology adviser to the State Department and Viral Peace’s creator, tells Danger Room he wants to use “logic, humor, satire, [and] religious arguments, not just to confront [extremists], but to undermine and demoralize them.” Think of it as strategic trolling, in pursuit of geopolitical pwnage.
You can read the Wired story in full here.