ISIS-chan : Anime nerds' efforts to influence online search results for ISIS-related messages Favorite 


Jan 24 2015



Her name is ISIS-chan. And she's how nerds around the world are trying to silence violent ISIS terrorist propaganda.
It starts with the vibrant worldwide community that loves Japanese anime. Some of them have created a cute animated character as a sort of ISIS mascot.

The goal? Hijack the terrorist group's message and replace it with a girl that's oh-so-adorable.

Right now, if you search online for the term "ISIS," you'll be pelted with images of intimidating thugs murdering innocent people and waving AK-47s and black flags. Anti-ISIS activists want to reverse that, so that when you search for "ISIS," you get this cute girl instead. To achieve that, activists have put out an open call to everyone around the world who can doodle.

It's essentially a "Google bomb," a war of attrition where images are ammunition and "search engine optimization" is the rule of engagement.

The movement started among users of 2Channel, one of the biggest anonymous bulletin boards in Japan. ISIS-chan wears the terrorist group's black clothing. She has green eyes and dark hair. She's 19. And if she's holding a knife, it's only because she loves to slice and eat delicious melons.

ISIS-chan first appeared on Japanese websites earlier this year, so it's most popular there. ISIS-chan has begun to catch on in Europe and the Americas. One recent drawing was done by someone who told CNNMoney he's a high school student in the Midwest.

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How does this project help?

Timeframe For change


The activity started off from the Japanese internet and spread later to Twitter users in North America and Europe. Later the ISIS-chan mascot was deployed by hacktivist group Anonymous to influence search engine results for content related to ISIS and take down accounts of ISIS sympathizers. According to a BBC report, the ISIS and its sympathizers had operated more than 90,000 Twitter accounts as of 2015, and Anonymous had taken action against more than 750 Twitter accounts.