Following a three-day summit at the White House this week on Countering Violent Extremism, the State Department took to social media, asking people to share their solutions to this complex, tough issue.
The summit's purpose was to "discuss concrete steps the United States and its partners can take to develop community-oriented approaches to counter hateful extremist ideologies that radicalize, recruit, or incite violence."
The overall goal, officials said, was to counter the narrative of extremist organizations and the propaganda they use to recruit.
It brought together local, federal and international leaders to address the highly complicated topic of how extremist organizations target and recruit, how to protect those vulnerable to the violent ideologies, and develop tangible solutions.
It also included specific plans, and dollars, including grants to study domestic radicalization and programs to fight it alongside local community organizations.
Then the State Department on Friday apparently decided it was a good idea to ask social media users how to defeat terrorism.
Some saw exactly where this was headed...
Others were wondering if it was legit.
It's not the first time the administration has turned to crowdsourcing.
In 2009, the White House set up an e-mail "tip box" to find "disinformation about health insurance reform out there."
"If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com," a White House blog post read.
Days later, the email was shut down after concerns the emails would be used to monitor people critical of the President's policies.
The post did bring some thoughtful answers, however.
Others, not so much.
Solutions? Not this person's job.
And then things turned on the State Department.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, used it as an opportunity to troll the department with military solutions.
Probably not the feedback they were hoping for.
Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Salvador Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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