Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Being a Snarky Asshole Thwarted Terrorism Yesterday

(Let me start this post by saying I'm reporting on news of interst and not engaging in any sort of terrorist behavior.  I state this upfront because there are several words in this post that relate to terrorism and as such it may get flagged by some magical program created to monitor key words of concern.  I know your watching us Oh Great Algorithm...)

Sometimes my inner voice can be a snarky, sarcastic, asshole (I love that about myself).  Unfortunately, in my constant quest to be a better person (a questionably counterproductive pursuit, according to my therapist), I generally tend to muzzle my musings of mischief in favor of "more productive" opining.  So yesterday, when Rachel Maddow teased a story (below) about hundreds of snarky, sarcastic, patriots (with perhaps asshole tendencies) using their common love of mockery to thwart terrorism on Twitter, I was not only curious, I was intensely interested.

Long story short: a random Al Qaeda consort created the hashtag #اقتراحك_لتطوير_اﻹعلام_الجهادي (which according to Business Insider translates to:"#Suggestions_to_Develop_Jihadist_Media") to solicit and catalog ideas for the development of Jihad media.  It didn't go well for him.  Once the tweet was translated and verified as authentic counter-terrorism expert J.M. Berger challenged Twitter to troll the hashtag until it was rendered useless. Snarky, sarcastic comedy ensued as patriotic netizens joined together to both entertain and thwart terrorism simultaneously. It was perhaps my favorite story of the day.  Rachel's coverage below and Buzzfeed cataloged some of the best tweets, if you're intersted.

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