PETALING JAYA: A young Malaysian is doing his part in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) but his weapon of choice is not guns or bullets but a cute anime girl named Isis-chan.
Kay Stevenson, 25, would share pictures of the moe (Japanese slang word that means adorable) and innocuous girl on Facebook and Twitter.
“It’s actually a very good move since it requires almost no cost at all. People who support the move do it voluntarily,” he said.
By drawing and sharing the pictures, anime buffs like Stevenson aim to flood search engines with pictures of Isis-chan, whenever anyone looks up the word “Isis” or “IS”.
Dressed in IS’ signature black, the mascot sports shoulder-length green hair and huge anime eyes.
Contributors are required to follow some simple rules like not insulting Islam – not even depictions of the prophet or religious symbols. Respect images of IS hostages and there should not be any gore or porn.
The code of ethics is to ensure the pictures do not offend the public.
Isis-chan’s design was the work of a committee, with each aspect of her character decided by forum users via a lottery of sorts. It was purposely created to be the complete opposite of the barbaric images associated with IS.
They soon voted for peculiar temperaments to be added to the character, which included being easily embarrassed and an insatiable appetite for melons.
Like her final look, everything about this anti-IS movement is a group effort, with submissions from all over the world.
Stevenson looks forward to the day when Isis-chan reaches the first page of Google’s search engine.
Though a good idea, Stevenson believes that people who are adamant to join IS will still find a way via private groups in Facebook and WhatsApp.
“Anything that can hinder the terrorists in some way is worth supporting,” he said.
Spearheading this movement on Twitter is a group named @isisvipper that retweets anything with the hashtag #ISISchan.
Currently sporting a modest number of 4,640 followers, the group estimates that 20% of its followers are from South-East Asia, making it the region with the largest number of followers.
But while still growing, it has already gained international coverage, cited by articles on the BBC and CNN, among others.
When contacted, @isisvipper said their aim was to design and share content which “disrupts the IS propaganda” via a “fun and easy” way.