VOX-Pol Workshop on Comparative Approaches to Understanding Violent and Non-Violent Online Extremism

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Date/Time

22/05/2017
All Day

Location

University College London

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Slides for every presentation from this workshop are available HERE


On 22nd May 2017, UCL is convening a one-day workshop in London on comparative approaches to understanding violent and non-violent online extremism. This is being done via the H2020 funded VOX-Pol project.

Research on online radicalisation is on the increase but is largely dominated by research solely focused upon the jihadi threat. This limits our understanding regarding the generalisability of the research toward other mobilising actors (both violent and non-violent).

The objective of this workshop is to gain an insight into the main debates, issues, achievements, gaps and methodological challenges into research on (non-) violent online political extremism and online radicalisation, but also encourage constructive dialogue and cross pollination across different disciplines and case studies to learn from one another.

We are soliciting expressions of interest to participate (either as a speaker or audience member). The objective of this workshop is this workshop is to gain an insight into the main debates, issues, achievements, gaps and methodological challenges into research on (non-)violent online political extremism and online radicalisation, but also encourage constructive dialogue and cross-pollination across different disciplines and case studies to learn from one another.

Confirmed speakers will be addressing issues related to

  • Case studies of analogous non-violent groups
  • Case studies of analogous violent crime types
  • Understudied violent extremist groups and movements
  • Linguistics analysis

The contact email address for the workshop is workshop@voxpol.eu

The precise location of this conference will be revealed to participants upon registration.

Schedule

 

From 1100 – Registration and refreshments

 

1130 – 1230

Paul Gill

Welcome and Introduction

Sandy Schumann

“Let’s Keep It Between Us: Does Anonymity Online Foster Radical Action Offline?”

Lorraine Bowman Grieve

“The Psychology of Social Influence and Irish Republicanism Online”

Q&A

 

1230 – 1315

Elizabeth Morrow

“The Costs and Benefits of Facebook: How the English Defence League Sells Self-worth and Manages Stigma Online”

Reem Ahmed

“The (Extreme) Right Online”

Q&A

 

1315 – Lunch

 

1345 – 1445 

Paul Gill (on behalf of David James)

“The Curious Case of Myron May”

Cerwyn Moore 

“Foreign Fighters and New Media Ecologies”

Q&A

 

1445 – 1550

Joanne Hinds

“Radicalisation, the Internet and Cybersecurity: Opportunities and Challenges for Research”

Lorand Bodo

“Fighting ISIS on Facebook—Breaking the ISIS Brand Counter-Narratives Project”

Sarah Carthy

“Counter-narratives for the Prevention of Violent Online Radicalisation:  Can They Work?”

Q&A

 

1550 – Refreshments

 

1600 – 1630

 Gianluca Stringhini

“A Measurement Study of 4chan’s Politically Incorrect Forum and its Effects on the Web”

Despoina Chatzakou

“Measuring #GamerGate: A Tale of Hate, Sexism, and Bullying”

Q&A

 

Confirmed speakers

Paul Gill

Paul is a Senior Lecturer in Security and Crime Science at University College London (UCL). Previous to joining UCL, Paul was a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at Pennsylvania State University. He has conducted research funded by the Office for Naval Research, the Department of Homeland Security, DSTL, the European Union, and the National Institute of Justice. These projects focused upon various aspects of terrorist behavior including the IED development, creativity, terrorist network structures, and lone-actor terrorism. His doctoral research focused on the underlying individual and organisational motivations behind suicide bombing. This piece of research won the Jean Blondel Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in Political Science in Europe for 2010.

 

Sandy Schumann

Sandy is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and investigates how the media influences processes of social change, migration, and radicalisation. Currently, she examines the impact of computer-mediated intergroup contact on prejudice, assessing specifically how affordances of computer-mediated communication shape the contact experience. In her PhD thesis, Sandy assessed the phenomenon of slacktivism, more precisely, the spill-over from low-threshold online activism to offline engagement.

 

Cerwyn Moore 

Ceryn is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on the ‘Theory, Practice and Interpretation of Violence’ within global politics. He has published widely on political violence related to the two Russo-Chechen Wars of the 1990s, having won a series of British Academy research awards to analyze the changing nature of political violence in the North Caucasus. He teaches and writes on terrorism and insurgency linked to the North Caucasus, particularly suicide attacks, foreign fighters and mass hostage-taking and the role of Islam. He also teaches and writes on interpretive approaches to International Relations, with a specific interest in narratives, hermeneutics, aesthetics and continental international political thought.

 

Elizabeth Morrow

Elizabeth is a Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) at the University of Birmingham. Elizabeth is interested in extremism, populism and terrorism and her doctoral research drew on a qualitative study of the English Defence League including a detailed account of the experiences of front-line group members. From 2013-2014, she conducted an ethnographic study comprising attendance and observation at multiple demonstrations and social gatherings, along with ancillary interview with EDL members. As a Research Fellow in POLSIS, Dr Morrow is working with Dr Cerwyn Moore on the ‘Actors and Narratives’ work-package in CREST.  As part of this role, she is examining the narratives of people who engage in, and desist from, extremist activism.

 

Reem Ahmed

Reem is a Researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) and works within the framework of the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence. She completed her Masters in International Security at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands in 2015 and her research is focused on terrorism, jihadi and right-wing radicalisation, foreign fighters, as well as the geopolitics of the Gulf region and Middle East.

 

David James (presentation to be delivered by Paul Gill)

David James is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist in London and former Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry at University College London. His research interests have included new mechanisms for diverting the mentally ill from the criminal justice system, and stalking and harassment. In 2003, Dr James established the Fixated Research Group, which is an international group researching threats and harassment of public figures, with a primary focus on individuals who fixate upon members of the British Royal Family. David is currently the lead clinician at the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC), a specialist joint police-psychiatric unit for the assessment and management of cases involving the stalking, harassment or threatening of public figures in the United Kingdom.

 

Lorraine Bowman Grieve

Lorraine is a Lecturer in Psychology at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Lorraine is primarily interested in the application of social and forensic psychology to understanding behaviour and phenomenon related to crime, criminality and terrorism. Lorraine has researched terrorist use of the internet for over 10 years, in particular the content and function of discourses supportive of terrorism and the potential of alternative discourses in counter-terrorism efforts. She is interested in online interaction and engagement and in understanding the form and function of extreme ideology online.

 

Joanne Hinds

Joanne is a Research Associate in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Bath. Her research interests include group processes and computer mediated communication. Joanne’s work examines how groups solve problems, recall information and make decisions. She is fascinated by the cognitive and social factors that underlie how people interact and how technology can influence behaviour. Her PhD examined how online communication can mitigate problems experienced by face-to-face collaborative groups. Her postdoctoral research has explored how humans make decisions when interacting with autonomous technologies focusing on complex and uncertain environments, such as emergency and disaster response.

 

Lorand Bodo

Lorand is a research fellow at ICSVE looking at ISIS social media use and testing ISIS defector video clips with those who endorse ISIS. He is currently pursuing a four-year integrated Ph.D. at the Security and Crime Science Department at University College London. His research focuses on identifying and examining online radicalizing settings on social media platforms. Furthermore, he is very interested in developing and assessing the effectiveness of counter-narratives.

 

Sarah Carthy

Sarah is a PhD Candidate in the School of Psychology at the National University of Ireland Galway. She is part of the Risky and Extreme Behaviour research group within the school. Her research is funded by the Irish Research Council and focuses on counter-terrorism; in particular she is examining youth radicalisation through online terrorist narratives. She is currently compiling a systematic review of counter-narrative studies. In the coming years, she will conduct a qualitative analysis of terrorist content online before creating a model of how to challenge terrorist narratives. Throughout this process, she will be developing and empirically testing her own counter-narratives.

 

Gianluca Stringhini

Gianluca is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Departments of Computer Science and Security and Crime Science at University College London. Gianluca is also affiliated with the Information Security Group and the International Secure Systems Lab. He applies a data-driven approach to better understand cybercriminal operations. Through the collection and analysis of large-scale datasets, he develops novel and robust mitigation techniques to protect Internet users. Gianluca was awarded a UCL BEAMS Future Leaders in Engineering and Physical Sciences Award in 2016, a Google Research Award in 2015, the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Department of Computer Science at UCSB in 2014, and a Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship in 2012. His research is supported by the EPSRC, the EU Commission, Google, and GCHQ.

 

Despoina Chatzakou

Despoina is a PhD student in the Department of Informatics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece under the supervision of Prof. Athena Vakali. She holds a diploma in Informatics and an MSc in Informatics and Management from the Aristotle University. Since 2010 she has been a member of the Web/Internet Data Management Research Group (OSWINDS) at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her research interests include web data mining, text mining, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis.