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By Annelies Pauwels and Maarten van Alstein Polarisation comes in different forms. An important distinction can be made between ideological and affective polarisation. Ideological (or issue-based) polarisation refers to the sharpening of opinions, positions or believes on a specific issue within a group of like-minded people. The group moves from moderate towards more extreme views on the…

By Conor Rees Online extremist activity is not a new phenomenon. Terrorist and Violent Extremist (TVE) use of the Internet has been increasingly well researched since the turn of the millennium. This development of knowledge has led to improved understandings of why TVE’s use the Internet for reasons including recruitment, spreading propaganda, and fundraising (Weiman,…

This article summarizes a recent study published in the Journal of Crime and Justice. By Brenna Helm, Ryan Scrivens, Thomas J. Holt, Steven M. Chermak, and Richard Frank The online presence of incels, or involuntary celibates, has been an increasing security concern for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in recent years, given that self-identified incels –…

By Scott DeJong When it comes to understanding the Freedom Convoy and right-wing extremism, play offers a unique entry point. A week into the Freedom Convoy, a new symbol for the occupation graced social media: a bouncy castle. The children’s play feature, at first, seems off-kilter for a movement whose arrival in Ottawa began with…

By Merlyna Lim and Brandon Rigato Weeks after the so-called “freedom convoy” protests ended, a familiar quietness has returned to the streets of downtown Ottawa. No more sounds of blaring horns and people partying into the wee hours. The only remaining visible traces are abandoned trucks in impound yards and barriers on streets. But these too will…

This article summarizes a recent study published in Criminal Justice Policy Review. By Ryan Scrivens, Thomas W. Wojciechowski, Joshua D. Freilich, Steven M. Chermak, and Richard Frank There is an ongoing need for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to detect and assess online posting behaviors of violent extremists prior to their engagement in violence offline, but…

By Ninian Frenguelli On Saturday, 14 May, 2022 an armed shooter entered a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, USA and shot and killed 10 people, wounding three more. The shooter live streamed the attack via the gaming-centric Twitch streaming service and left a manifesto to explain his beliefs. The 18-year-old attacker, Payton Gendron, wrote in…

By Eric Heinze Elon Musk is the planet’s number one billionaire. If anyone can turn cyberspace into a heaven – or hell – of free speech “absolutism” via a US$44 billion (£35 billion) Twitter takeover, then surely he’s the man. Right? When free-market elephants like Musk or Jeff Bezos (who bought the Washington Post in 2013) take charge…

This Blog post is the final—the first is HERE, the second HERE, and the third HERE—in a four-part series of article summaries from the EU H2020-funded BRaVE project’s  First Monday Special Issue exploring societal resilience to online polarisation and extremism. Read the full article HERE [Ed.].  By Vivian Gerrand While algorithmic design is one critical component of supporting prosocial resilience to online…

This Blog post is the third—the first is HERE and the second HERE—in a four-part series of article summaries from the EU H2020-funded BRaVE project’s  First Monday Special Issue exploring societal resilience to online polarization and extremism. Read the full article HERE [Ed.]. By Amy-Louise Watkin and Maura Conway Discussions already underway amongst not just…