Blog

By Sam Jackson For years, researchers studying online political extremism have used computational tools to collect large amounts of data from social media, most often from Twitter. Two main logics guide these data collections: they can be built around users (e.g., collecting all tweets sent by given accounts) or they can be built around vocabulary (e.g.,…

By Peter King When the so-called Islamic State ramped up its media operation in the summer of 2014 to promote its territorial advances across Iraq and Syria, terrorism researchers who had been in the business for a decade or more were forced to take a step back and reconsider the effect the propaganda was having…

By Mike Edwards My belief in the value of collaboration between police and academics stems from a policing conference on domestic violence, stalking and sexual violence that I attended as a young police officer. Criminal behavioural analyst Laura Richards delivered the keynote speech. This sparked a personal interest in human behavioural analysis and specialist criminal…

By Carol Winkler One of the attendees at the recent Ethics of Terrorism Research workshop held at Swansea University poignantly observed, “ethics is method, method is ethics.” This rich concept has various implications for how terrorism researchers should think about their work. To start such a conversation, I will revisit Simon Cottee and Jack Cunliffe’s…

By Stefan Theil Germany’s infamous network enforcement law – which seeks to more heavily regulate social media – came into force at the start of 2018 to almost unanimous criticism. That is unfortunate, because I believe the law is a risk worth taking and can serve as a good starting point for governments considering tougher regulations…

By William Allchorn The 9th of June saw one of the most prominent far-right mobilisations of the year. Assembling in Trafalgar Square, hundreds of demonstrators turned out to protest the arrest and imprisonment of former English Defence League (EDL) leader, Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley Lennon), for contempt of court after he broadcast live…

By Nick Feamster This post contains reflections from a Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society workshop on the use of artificial intelligence in governing communication online that took place earlier this year [Ed.] Context In the United States and Europe, many platforms that host user content, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, have enjoyed safe harbor protections for the…

By Mehwish Rani Daesh and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are two competitor militant organisations in Pakistan. Although, Daesh has no organisational presence in the country, small groups inspired by it have carried out attacks in the name of the organisation. Both organisations publish propaganda magazines to, amongst other things, gain new recruits. While Daesh published approximately…

By Anne Speckhard, Ardian Shajkovci & Lorand Bodo This blog post synopsises a study that attempted to intervene with over fifty English-speaking Facebook accounts endorsing, promoting, and following ISIS. Methodology and Research Design For this study, several anonymized Facebook accounts were used to identify English-speaking radicalized Facebook profiles as our target for an online counter-narrative intervention.…

By Jonathan Saunders What if you could save an airport from terrorists, escape insurgents in South Sudan, and rescue civilians in an underground station all in one morning? With modern technology, the ability to recreate these scenarios within virtual and augmented reality is here, and we’re using it to help train counter-terrorism officers and aid workers.…