The US and Emirati governments launched a new Mideast digital communications center Wednesday focused on using social media to counter the Islamic State group’s propaganda efforts online. IS supporters have deftly harnessed social media to spread the group’s slickly produced Hollywood-style film clips and other messages aimed at recruiting and drawing support from plugged-in young Muslims. The Obama administration has urged Arab allies to do more to combat the media blitz, characterizing the fight on the communications front
as a key pillar in the overall effort to defeat the group. The new Sawab Center is one of the most concrete responses to that call yet in the region. Named for the Arabic word for “the right or proper way,” it will be based in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, a key American ally and a member of the US-led coalition against the IS group.