Are we about to see a kinder, gentler Islamic State? Probably not but it seems the ruthless terrorist organization has decided that publishing videos of its members beheading civilians might be a little too damaging to its reputation. Arabic language publication All4Syria.info reported recently that ISIS has ordered its members to stop filming and posting beheading videos online because many Muslims find the scenes “disgusting” and because many children also find them scary. You don’t say!
That said, there is a more cynical interpretation of why ISIS has apparently decided to stop posting beheading videos — PR Week talked with Chris Calland, senior account director at Hanover Communications, and he thinks that ISIS is worried that the western media have gotten bored with covering beheading videos, which reduces their power as recruitment tools.
“With the mainstream media reporting ISIS videos less and less these days, this will no doubt make ISIS think whether it needs to be even more shocking in its actions or rethink its propaganda — hence why this move, if true, is not surprising,” he told the publication.
This sadly does fit into the religious fundamentalist hipster mentality we’ve seen from ISIS, which is constantly drawing new lines on who’s really “hardcore” and “keeping it real.” If ISIS has decided to get even “edgier” than beheading videos, we really don’t want to see what comes next.