Teenagers, Terrorism, and Technopanic: How British Newspapers Framed Female ISIS Recruits as Victims of Social Media

Sara Shaban


In 2015, three teenage girls from London were recruited by ISIS via social media. British news discourse focused on the role of gender and technology in their recruitment. Through the lens of technological fetishism’s intersection with gendered terrorism, a discourse analysis of British newspapers revealed two dominant themes: (1) gendered terrorism through the victimization of female ISIS recruits and (2) the technological fetishism of social media focused on individualized solutions including censorship and regulation.


social media, terrorism, technological fetishism, moral panic, teenagers, gender, agency

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