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When the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a video demanding $200 million to spare the lives of two Japanese hostages, a group of Japanese netizens chose an unusual way to respond: knocking the video’s production quality with memes.
Senior Japanese defence official Akira Sato told reporters he thought there was something strange about the hostage video, and others said visual inconsistencies suggested it may have been filmed using a green screen to place a fake background.
Using a hashtag that translates to "ISIS crappy collage grand prix," Japanese netizens mocked the hostage video using photoshopped memes. The hashtag has more than 50,000 uses (Al Jazeera has a policy against showing video or stills from ISIL-produced content).
Some found the hashtag campaign distasteful, given the threat to the hostages’ lives: