‘Social media can be used to counter ISIS’

National 1 minute, 22 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SOUTHEAST Asian nations should employ social media to beat ISIS at their own game, said US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian.

In a telephone press briefing on Wednesday, she told reporters that international terror networks have been very successful in recruiting foreign fighters through social media, and governments should use the same channels to combat these messages.

During the recent US-ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands, California, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said social media channels should be used to combat radicalism and counter the message of extremists.

“President Joko Widodo is of course absolutely right in suggesting that part of the response to ISIS – and to the problem of foreign terrorist fighters – is to use social media. We all have our individual efforts already to do that, and the question is, can we work more closely together in enacting or fulfilling his proposal,” Hachigian said.

She said parties will explore President Widodo’s proposal in the coming days and that ASEAN is a key partner on transnational challenges, including countering violent extremism.

The militant group ISIS claimed responsibility for a series of explosions in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, last month which killed four people and injured 23. The Indonesian Defence Ministry said between 100 to 300 Indonesian citizens have gone to Syria to join ISIS.

Ambassador Hachigian said earlier that religious extremism is an issue that Brunei is also focused on, “taking impressive measures to counter the possibility of anything that could happen”.

During the summit in Sunnylands, Brunei called on nations to address the root causes of radicalism and urged for comprehensive counter-terrorism education as well as people-to-people exchanges that would build mutual understanding.

The Brunei Times