The more racist among America's political cartoonists have often portrayed Islamic extremists as backwards cave dwellers. This couldn't be further from the truth. ISIS has built a sophisticated Internet propaganda machine to drive recruitment and build a terror brand across Iraq, the Middle East, and the world. ISIS is active on Twitter, Facebook, and across other social media platforms.
ISIS members are sharing photos, photoshopped graphics, and even memes, but that isn't the surprising part. What is different about ISIS is that they have taken control of their social media presence in a way that looks more like an American corporation than a terror group. The Guardian's Middle East correspondent, Martin Chulov has said, "The fear about ISIS storming the capital is borne out of their social media campaign, not reality. They don't have the power to do that." As the web savvy among us well know, perception matters far more than actual power in the Internet age. ISIS has put as much focus on perception as they have on results. An app called The Dawn of Glad Tidings which allows ISIS to distribute updates, photoshopped images overlaid with phrases like "Badghdad, we are coming," and even a feature length film entitled Clanging of Swords IV have all contributed to ISIS's sophisticated propaganda apparatus, and helped create an image if ISIS that is far more powerful than the real-life organization actually is.