The Story of ISIS Told Through Tweets

By Rula Al-Nasrawi

One of many images created by ISIS supporters in regards to their social media presence. 

One of many images created by ISIS supporters in regards to their social media presence. 

Ok, let's get one thing straight. A little tip for all of you power hungry people out there. Without a mass amount of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, Insta reposts or LinkedIn connects, you are absolutely worthless in this world. Clearly ISIS knows that. They are a group that feeds entirely on social media; shares, retweets and hashtags flow like water for them. They have learned to adapt with the times, using platforms like Twitter and YouTube to reach masses of people. #Gnarly right? I decided to make a little timeline of ISIS’s history, told through the voice of that little tweeting bird many of us know so well. Just a quick reminder that none of what is going on in Iraq and Syria right now is funny by any means. But the sheer idea of ISIS tweeting out beheading videos and cat memes in the same breath is something that truly highlights how grotesque and emotionless the internet can be. 

Let’s start from the beginning, when post Saddam Hussein Iraq was in full throttle, ISIS was in the process of growing but needed to host on an already stable group. So how do you get your foot in that door? Step 1: Form. An. Alliance.

al Qaeda in Iraq has now joined Twitter @AQI

@AQI    Trying to get @US forces out of our country so we can get started on that #caliphate life.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant @ISIS is now following @AQI


Ok but clearly the point of forming an alliance is to keep the bond and not obliterate it any chance you get. The relationship between al Qaeda in Iraq and ISIS didn't last and certainly didn't end well. 


@AQI   @ISIS dude ur killing way too many Syrians. Chill.

@ISIS    @AQI hiiiii nope sorry fuck off

@AQI   @ISIS mmm alright then, UNFOLLOW.


                                                                                                               @ISIS has now changed its location to Iraq & Syria.


Former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki didn’t make things any easier. His anti-Sunni sentiments definitely made the Shia/Sunni divide as wide as humanly possible, giving ISIS a chance to get at Sunnis and be like “HEY YOU GUYS, JOIN OUR CREW.”

@Maliki if ur a #sunni ur worthless 2 me. #sorrynotsorry
@ISIS has 30,000 new followers. 

@ISIS has changed its name to @IS

@IS has changed its name to @ISIS

                                                                                                               @ISIS has changed its name to @ISIL

                                                                                                               @ISIL has changed its name to ??


Along with the new mass of followers and the ability to move between Iraq and Syria, ISIS has changed its name more times than Diddy aka P Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Puffy. 

Oh also, if you’re going to plot world domination, you definitely need your own media company to put out all of your news updates and multimedia. The al-Furqan Media Foundation is the ISIS main media vessel and is responsible for the production of a lot of the films they've put out thus far. 

@ISIS has checked in to Mosul and Tikrit 

@Obama "Tonight...I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” #ISIS

@ISIS new vid on YouTube. #foley

@ISIS new vid on YouTube #sotloff 

@ISIS new vid #haines

@ISIS yo, click here to watch our web series with John Cantlie. #lendmeyourears

@ISIS new vid #henning


So after multiple beheading videos, and a movie trailer, and the ability to leak information through trending hashtags, it's more than apparent that ISIS is an organization of the digital age.  

And last thing, if you’re really trying to get people excited, like at the highest level,  you’ve got to make an app. Fajr al-Bashaer aka Dawn of Good Tidings aka @Fajr991, to be exact.