An Internet tally shows Daesh is now more globally recognizable than the Vatican

Published August 31st, 2015 - 08:51 GMT
Welcome to the year where a brutal terrorist organization has more 'brand recognition' that the Vatican and Jersey. (AFP/File)
Welcome to the year where a brutal terrorist organization has more 'brand recognition' that the Vatican and Jersey. (AFP/File)

More than a year after it rose to power, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the world who ever reads the news and managed never to hear of Daesh (ISIS). But just how well known are they?  

According to a report in this year's WorldPR Global Leadership Ranking, the militant group's brand is more globally recognized than the Vatican (you know, that 2,000 year old epicentre of the Roman Catholic Church).

In a count including 212 entities entered into Google searches in the last 12 months, the count tallies the number of Internet hits — positive and negative — coming from 16 Western countries. "Islamic State" ranked 167, while "Vatican" hit number 192. 

Keep in mind — this count includes only includes online mentions of "Islamic State," while excluding alternative names like "Daesh" "ISIS" and "ISIL." Considering most of the Arab world's English publications and a growing number of Western publications call the group by the Arabic acronym Daesh, that number probably climbs a lot higher with inclusion. 

Among the other entities the grim Daesh brand beat out — "Jersey" (205), Laos (170) and Moldova (166).

But that's perhaps what's most insidious about the group. They keep gaining ground in Syria and Iraq despite a year of US-led airstrikes and several failed pushed from the Iraqi army. Online, they lead robust propaganda campaigns on Twitter and lure new members in shadowy chatrooms. And while there are plenty of counter-attacks we can enjoy online, no matter where we look, they seem always to be there.


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