Posted by Ally Hinton
Lebanese Activists Challenge World To #BurnISISFlagChallenge
Three anti-Islamic State, teenage activists in Beirut have created a growing social media trend that they hope will rival the popular #IceBucketChallenge by setting fire to an Islamic State flag in the middle of Sassine Square in Lebanon’s capital Beirut and posting it for the virtual universe.
Not long afterwards another young activists began posting footage of themselves on their Youtube account BURN ISIS burning the IS flag and captioned it: “I nominate the whole world to
#BurnISISFlagChallenge You have 24 hours – GO!!”. After some comments expressing concern over some of the language on the flag being burned the group added this to the description of the video: “note: ISIS are not ISLAM nor do they represent ISLAM and muslims.”.
Lebanese justice minister Ashaf Rifi has spoken out against flag-burners threatening that they should face “the sternest punishments.” There are some Lebanese government officials that are supportive of the flag burning challenge. Ibrahim Kanaan of Lebanon’s Change and Reform group in their parliament has offered representation to the teenagers if they are charged with a crime for burning the flag.
Middle Eastern Activist’s Social Media Challenge Spreads Around The World
Word of the
#BurnISISFlagChallenge has began spreading quickly on Twitter, Facebook, & other social media accounts. This challenge has not only spread to the citizens of Lebanon and the Middle East, it is also slowly gaining popularity in other countries such as Mexico & the United States where some people are printing out images of the flag in order to burn the image.
ISIS has been known in the media to be more involved in the social media world than any extremist organization to date. Their use of these tools shows the darker applications for web technology through the spreading of terror and hate.
The Future Of Human Communication
It is amazing how quickly the world of social media can spread a trend to unite like minds and challenge ideals. Before the Internet became the communication tool that it is today a challenge like the #BurnISISFlagChallenge or the #IceBucketChallenge would have taken months or years, if ever at all, to spread as far as it can in just a few days. The future of news, media, and activism will continue to become more intertwined with the unfiltered voices that tell their stories online.