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On 5 December, VOX-Pol Coordinator, DCU’s Prof. Maura Conway, supplied an overview of 2018 activity in violent extremist and terrorist online activity at the European Union Internet Forum’s (EUIF) annual ministerial-level meeting. The event took place in the Berlaymont building, the headquaters of the European Commission, and was hosted by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and…

By  Jennifer Yang Hui In the wake of high-profile terrorist activities in Indonesia, social media’s role in violent extremism is once again under scrutiny. The 36-hour standoff on 8 May 2018 between inmates linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS) and prison officers at Mako Brimob (the detention centre of the Indonesian National Police Mobile…

Welcome to Volume 5 Issue 4 of the VOX-Pol Newsletter. If you have colleagues or friends who may be interested in the content of our newsletter, or in any VOX-Pol events and research, please forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe via our website. Follow us on Twitter @VOX_Pol for live updates and…

The Alt-Right in Europe

    Read in Dutch Read in French Read in German Earlier this month, VOX-Pol published The Alt-Right Twitter Census, an analysis of the online activities of the right-wing umbrella movement. The report examined almost 30,000 followers of Twitter accounts that self-identified as alt-right in their user names or profile information. The report painted a…

By Laura Jakli and Paul Gill This blog post summarises the preliminary results of a VOX-Pol supported study that estimates the effects of social media echo chambers on political polarisation. Social Media and Political Polarisation Countless news articles and studies argue that social media exacerbates political polarisation and distorts the political news landscape. The general argument put…

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…

We are delighted to have Mina al-Lami as the keynote speaker at our upcoming conference in August. Mina al-Lami heads the long-established team of online jihadism experts at BBC Monitoring (BBCM). She is the editor of BBCM’s Jihadism page that features daily reports and insight on jihadist developments, trends, profiles and online platforms. Her team relies on meticulous…

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…