The insurgent group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has rebranded itself.
Since June 29, 2014, it became known as the Islamic State group (IS). It made the announced in a video posted on YouTube, which also stated its intention to rule the entire Islamic world.
On the ground, the IS group has made violent advances, but in social media, it has also been heavily engaging in a propaganda war that has pitted the rebels against some of their own rivals in IS and al-Qaeda, as well as the governments in Baghdad and Damascus. Elsewhere in the region, state-owned media outlets are providing coverage that echoes their particular government’s own geopolitical interests.
Talking Listening Post through the story this week is Jamie Bartlett, a social media analyst at the London-based think-tank Demos; Imran Khan, a correspondent at Al Jazeera; media historian Ibrahim Al Marashi, and political scientist Fanar Haddad.
This week’s "News Bytes": The prominent Egyptian TV host Yosri Fouda’s criticism of the new government has put him in the line of fire of Egyptian media.
Thailand enters its second phase of the post-coup media strategy, as the military government creates a body to monitor the news industry.
In Somaliland, a media owner and his editor have been sentenced to three years in prison for publishing stories on government corruption.
Brazil's World Cup: In 2007, when Brazil won the right to host the World Cup that is being staged this month, fans everywhere were excited. For President Dilma Rousseff's government, the added benefit was showing Brazil off to the world. But as the cost of the tournament grew, so did the size of anti-World Cup protests on the streets.
Mainstream media in the country either failed to understand what was unfolding – or there was a reluctance in newsrooms to be critical of an event the government wanted to showcase. So it was left to alternative media start-ups to fill in the gaps. In this week’s feature, the Listening Post's Gouri Sharma looks at the media legacy of the World Cup.
Web video of the week: Most are familiar with Internet trolls, individuals who harass other users online. No one takes them seriously. But there is another, more subtle kind, masquerading as a big thinker but offering up irrelevant statistics and weak arguments. It gave Nick Douglas, the editor of the comedic blog Slacktory, an idea to critique this type of online behaviour. One of his latest entries is called "The Internet Arguer", a compilation of catch phrases used to win an argument. With more than 100,000 hits online, we made it our Web video of the week.
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