Mounting a Facebook Brand Awareness and Safety Ad Campaign to Break the ISIS Brand in Iraq

This article reports on the International Center for Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE’s) most recent Facebook ad
campaign aimed at raising awareness about the realities of living under ISIS and protecting vulnerable potential
recruits from considering joining. During the course of 24 days in December of 2017, ICSVE researchers mounted
the campaign on Facebook using a counter-narrative video produced by ICSVE. The Facebook ad campaign
targeted Iraq, where Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, with ISIS also driving powerful
recruiting campaigns on Facebook and enticing youth into joining. The results were promising in terms of driving
engagement with our counternarrative video materials, leading close to 1.7 million views and hundreds of specific
comments related to both our video content and ISIS in general. In terms of policy implications, in addition to
raising awareness about the dangers of joining ISIS and our Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project, the
campaign served as an important platform to challenge extremist narratives as well as channel doubt, frustration,
and anger into positive exchange of ideas and participation.

Tags: CVE, Facebook, ISIS, Violent Jihadism, Youth