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This Blog post draws on Moonshot CVE data that was also discussed in the article ‘Dissident Republicans Operate ‘Broad, Unsophisticated Online Networks’ that appeared in yesterday’s Irish Times newspaper [Ed.]. Introduction The murder of Lyra McKee on Good Friday has shone a spotlight on an often under-reported and under-analysed form of violent extremism, violent dissident…

By Reem Ahmed and Daniela Pisoiu In a globalized world, events thousands of miles away have far-reaching effects, mostly through their spectacularism. Oftentimes, these events feel even closer to home when there are ideas and people who might have in one way or another contributed to the facilitation of such atrocities. Right-wing extremism has long…

By Aaron Mackey One of the most important principles underpinning the Internet is that if you say something illegal, you should be held responsible for it—not the owners of the site or service where you said it. That principle has seen many threats this year—not just in federal legislation, but also in a string of…

By Luke Munn “From where did you receive/research/develop your beliefs? The Internet, of course.” ~ Brenton Tarrant On Friday, March 15th 2019, at 1:40pm, Brenton Tarrant walked into the first of two mosques in central Christchurch and began shooting indiscriminately, leading to the deaths of 50 people. Already there has been speculation about what drove…

By Nancy Jamal In the aftermath of the Christchurch attack, attention has been drawn to the role of mass media in the aftermath of such attacks, including by the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer, Neil Basu. Last week’s Blog post also addressed responsible reporting, as does Virginie Andre’s report Understanding the Impact of Terrorist Event Reporting on Countering…

By Dr Matteo Vergani The Christchurch terror attack conducted by Brenton Tarrant highlights the urgent need to break the destructive synergy between media reporting and terrorist messaging. Tarrant planned a careful media strategy. He exploited social media, like many al-Qaeda and ISIS-inspired terrorists before him, live-streaming his attack and uploading a manifesto in the expectation that…

By Adam G. Klein When a U.S. senator asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Can you define hate speech?” it was arguably the most important question that social networks face: how to identify extremism inside their communities. Hate crimes in the 21st century follow a familiar pattern in which an online tirade escalates into violent actions.…

By Sara Solmone Free speech is a key aspect of the internet, but it has become increasingly obvious that many online will push that freedom to extremes, leaving website comment sections, Twitter feeds and Facebook groups awash with racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise unpalatable opinions and vitriolic views, and obscene or shocking images or videos.…

By Nathan Shea The first news that militants had taken to the streets of the Islamic City of Marawi on May 23, 2017, came from Facebook. Pictures of masked men carrying assault rifles and waving the black flag of the Islamic State were swirling across social media well before Philippine and international news channels picked…

By Eviane Cheng Leidig A lacuna exists in the study of the radical right whereby researchers focus disproportionately on developments in Europe and North America. Yet, countries such as India, the Philippines, Turkey, and Brazil highlight how the radical right can operate, and indeed flourish, beyond the West. Our failure to incorporate these non-Western case studies…