Library

Welcome to VOX-Pol’s online Library, a research and teaching resource, which collects in one place a large volume of publications related to various aspects of violent online political extremism.

Our searchable database contains material in a variety of different formats including downloadable PDFs, videos, and audio files comprising e-books, book chapters, journal articles, research reports, policy documents and reports, and theses.

All open access material collected in the Library is easy to download. Where the publications are only accessible through subscription, the Library will take you to the publisher’s page from where you can access the material.

We will continue to add more material as it becomes available with the aim of making it the most comprehensive online Library in this field.

If you have any material you think belongs in the Library—whether your own or another authors—please contact us at onlinelibrary@voxpol.eu and we will consider adding it to the Library. It is also our aim to make the Library a truly inclusive multilingual facility and we thus welcome contributions in all languages.

Featured

Full Listing

TitleYearAuthorTypeLinks
The Evolution Of Online Violent Online Extremism In Indonesia And The Philippines
Reconciling Impact And Ethics: An Ethnography of Research in Violent Online Political Extremism
2019Mahlouly, M.VOX-Pol Publication
Gathering empirical evidence from interviews and focus groups, this study highlights some of the ethical dilemmas faced by the academic community tasked with developing new methodological tools and conceptual frameworks for the study of violent online political extremism. At the same time, it examines how academics position themselves in relation to a broad range of non-academic stakeholders involved in the public debate about where violent extremism, terrorism and the Internet intersect. It argues that these external actors are introducing a multisectoral ‘market’ for research on online violent extremism, which creates both opportunities and limitations for the academic community. Finally, it analyses how academics from across a range of disciplines will be able to secure access to data and competitive research tools, while also engaging in a critical reflection about the
ethical considerations at stake.
Mapping The Jihadist Information Ecosystem
2019 Fisher, A., Prucha, N. and Winterbotham, E.Article
Online disruption efforts generally aim to reduce the availability of jihadist content. Yet, the speed and agility of jihadist movements online – a multiplatform approach which a co-author of this paper has previously described as a ‘swarmcast’ – has allowed groups to evolve in response to disruption efforts and find new ways to distribute content.1
This paper describes a model of the flow of users between social media platforms and surface web pages to access jihadist content, using data obtained through innovative collection methods.2 The model provides an approximate picture of the jihadist information ecosystem and how multiple platforms are used to disseminate content.
The Evolution of Online Violent Extremism In Indonesia And The Philippines
2019 Nuraniyah, N.Article

Pro-Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) groups
in Indonesia and the Philippines have come to rely on social media for
propaganda, fundraising and disseminating instructional material, but in
different ways. While Indonesian online extremism has deep roots, with local
networks exploiting various online platforms over the past decade, extremist
social media in the Philippines only really took off as a consequence of the May
2017 siege in the southern Philippine city of Marawi by pro-Daesh militants. This paper outlines the evolving use of online platforms by pro-Daesh groups in both countries and how this has enabled extremists to develop and strengthen their networks. Social media and encrypted chat apps have shaped the development of extremism in Indonesia and the Philippines in four main areas: branding, recruitment, fundraising, and the increasing role of women. For groups in the Philippines, direct communication with Daesh headquarters via Telegram facilitated their rebranding as the face of Daesh in Southeast Asia, more than just a local insurgency group. In both countries, social media facilitates vertical and horizontal recruitment, but not lone-actor terrorism. Extremist use of the internet for fundraising is still rudimentary –sophisticated financial cybercrime is still virtually non-existent. In all these aspects, women’s roles have become much more visible. For a long time, women had been barred from accessing extremist public spaces, let alone
taking an active role as combatants.1 But through social media, women are now able to play more active roles as propagandists, recruiters, financiers, and even suicide bombers. This paper briefly discusses government responses to online extremism,
noting that there have been mixed results between Indonesia and the Philippines. Indonesian authorities have undoubtedly been the more successful of the two regimes – both in terms of law enforcement and engagement with the tech sector – but its counter terrorism police now face the problem of how to judiciously use their powers in a democratic manner. The Philippines, meanwhile, is still at the starting line in terms of dealing with online extremism, with the military more accustomed to removing threats than trying to understand them.

Following The Whack-a-Mole Britian First's Visual Strategy From Facebook To Gab
2019 Nouri,L., Lorenzo-Dus, N. and Watkin, A.L.Article
The focus of this paper is on the extremist group Britain First. As such, it does not explore online terrorist activity but rather examines how a group regarded as extremist is subject to online sanctions. The removal of the extremist group Britain First from Facebook in March 2018 successfully disrupted the group’s online activity, leading them to have to start anew on Gab, a different and considerably smaller social media platform. The removal also resulted in the group having to seek new online followers from a much smaller, less diverse recruitment pool. This paper demonstrates the further impact of the group’s platform migration on their online strategy – particularly on their choice of images and the engagement levels generated through them. The paper puts forward a number of key recommendations, most importantly that social-media companies should continue to censor and remove hateful content.
Shedding Light On Terrorist And Extremist Content Removal
2019 Vegt, I.V.D. Gill, P., Macdonald,S. and Kleinberg, B.Article
Social media and tech companies face the challenge of identifying and removing terrorist and extremist content from their platforms. This paper presents the findings of a series of interviews with Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) partner companies and law enforcement Internet Referral Units (IRUs). It offers a unique view on current practices and challenges regarding content removal, focusing particularly on human-based and automated approaches and the integration of the two.
A Study Of Outlinks Contained In Tweets Monitoring Rumiya
2019Macdonald, S., Grinnell, D., Kinzel A., and Lorenzo-Dus, A.Article
This paper focuses on the attempts by Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS) to use Twitter to disseminate its online magazine, Rumiyah. It examines a data set of 11,520 tweets mentioning Rumiyah that contained an out link, to evaluate the success of Daesh’s attempts to use Twitter as a gateway to issues of its magazine.
The Neurocognitive Process Of Digital Radicalization - A Theoretical Model And Analytical Framework
2019Howard, T., Poston, B. and Benning, S. D.Article
Recent studies suggest that empathy induced by narrative messages can effectively facilitate persuasion and reduce psychological reactance. Although limited, emerging research on the etiology of radical political behavior has begun to explore the role of narratives in shaping an individual’s beliefs, attitudes, and intentions that culminate in radicalization. The existing studies focus exclusively on the influence of narrative persuasion on an individual, but they overlook the necessity of empathy and that in the absence of empathy, persuasion is not salient. We argue that terrorist organizations are strategic in cultivating empathetic-persuasive messages using audiovisual materials, and disseminating their message within the digital medium. Therefore, in this paper we propose a theoretical model and analytical framework capable of helping us better understand the neurocognitive process of digital radicalization.
Emotional Effects Of Terroristic Communication - Between Professional Propaganda And Media Coverage
2019Johann, M. and Oswald, M.Article
Like no other terroristic organization, the Islamic State anchors forms of direct communication in its communication strategy. Although classical mass media still serve as multipliers in order to spread fear, modern terrorists increasingly focus on social media to address relevant recipients. Spreading their messages via mass media, terroristic communicators have to accept balancing media coverage: the classical media framing. With forms of direct communication however they are able to set own strategic communicator frames and narratives. The question arises whether these messages have different effects on recipients than corresponding media reports. In this article we analyze the effects of different forms of terroristic communication on the recipients’ emotions using an experimental design. The results indicate that strategic communicator frames are able to reinforce negative emotions. However, it could be observed that the recipients’ political knowledge and thematic interest are able to reduce the terrorists’ main target: fear.

The article was written in German.
Exploring The Capabilities Of Prevent In Addressing Radicalisation In Cyberspace Within Higher Education
2019Sandford, L.Article
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015) introduced a binding duty on public sector bodies in the United Kingdom (UK), including education, to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. The Prevent duty has become widely controversial in the Higher Education (HE) sector with questions as to whether it contravenes academic freedom and freedom of speech.

This research seeks to identify how Prevent may be applied to cyberspace to reduce risk of students being radicalised online at universities. Through semi-structured interviews (N= 16) with individuals working in Prevent and HE, attention is given to the capability of monitoring and filtering website content, which must be considered by universities as part of Prevent compliance. In addition, non-technical methods of reducing radicalisation in cyberspace are explored. Consideration is given to building students’ resilience to challenging information they see online through developing counter-narrative content for social media platforms. With students developing counter-narrative content themselves, specifically addressing vulnerability drivers to radicalisation, universities can enhance compliance with Prevent and create counter extremist content which can be used in cyberspace both in and outside of HE.
Regulating Terrorist Content On Social Media - Automation And The Rule Of Law
2019Macdonald, S., Correia, S. G. and Watkin, A. L.Article
Social-media companies make extensive use of artificial intelligence in their efforts to remove and block terrorist content from their platforms. This paper begins by arguing that, since such efforts amount to an attempt to channel human conduct, they should be regarded as a form of regulation that is subject to rule-of-law principles. The paper then discusses three sets of rule-of-law issues. The first set concerns enforceability. Here, the paper highlights the displacement effects that have resulted from the automated removal and blocking of terrorist content and argues that regard must be had to the whole social-media ecology, as well as to jihadist groups other than the so-called Islamic State and other forms of violent extremism. Since rule by law is only a necessary, and not a sufficient, condition for compliance with rule-of-law values, the paper then goes on to examine two further sets of issues: the clarity with which social-media companies define terrorist content and the adequacy of the processes by which a user may appeal against an account suspension or the blocking or removal of content. The paper concludes by identifying a range of research questions that emerge from the discussion and that together form a promising and timely research agenda to which legal scholarship has much to contribute.
Media And Information Literacy - Reinforcing Human Rights, Countering Radicalization And Extremism



The MILID Yearbook is a peer-reviewed academic publication and a joint initiative of the UNESCO-UNAOC University Cooperation Programme on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (UNESCO-UNAOC-MI-LID-UNITWIN), and the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL). The cooperation programme was launched in 2011 within the framework of the UNESCO University Twinning Programme (UNIT WIN). The MILID University Network now consists of 22 universities from all regions of the world. The MILID Yearbook 2013, 2014 and 2015 have been published in cooperation with the Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (NORDICOM). This year, the UNESCO has stepped in for this noble cause. It is high time to place media and information literacy (MIL) at the core of instruction at all levels of formal education, and it needs to be promoted in non-formal and informal educational setting as well. MIL can effectively contribute to enhancing intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, peace, promote human rights, freedom of expression, and counter hate, radicalization and violent extremism. In fact, MIL is fundamental to producing knowledge for critical thinking, democratic citizenship, independent learning and good governance. The objectives of the Yearbook are to:• Strengthen and deepen the knowledge concerning Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) on global, regional and national levels including in the frame of human rights, dialogue, democracy and peace• Widen and deepen the collaboration and exchange between academics and partners on media and information literacy• Visualize and stimulate research and practices within as well as outside the MILID UNITWIN Network in the field of MILID while promoting a more holistic perspective of Media and Information Literacy (MIL).In addition to these overall aims, the MILID Yearbook seeks to address current issues which are connected to the overall themes of media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue. The year 2016 being the first year of the implementation of the sustainable development goals has provided an opportunity to examine the renewed emphasis on Human Rights-Based Approach to development. Further, the increased levels of national and global conflicts, as well as the new forms of violent extremism and radicalization have led to questions on the role of MIL in this global environment.







The Online Caliphate Internet Usage And ISIS Support In The Arab World
2019Piazza, J., A. and Guler, A.Article
Experts argue that the internet has provided expanded opportunities for violent extremist groups to propagandize and recruit. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is an exemplar in that it has heavily invested in an online presence and uses online communities and social media to attract and retain supporters. Does ISIS’s online presence translate into a higher probability that individuals in its target audience will become supporters? In this study, we analyze over 6,000 individuals in six Arab countries to find if those that use the internet to follow political news or to express political views are more likely to support ISIS. We find that respondents who get their news online are significantly more likely to support ISIS than those who follow the news on television or print media. Moreover, those who use online fora for political expression are also more likely to express support for ISIS. Indeed, individuals who engage in online political discussion are more likely to support ISIS than those who engage in conventional political activity, though less than those who engage in contentious political behaviors such as attending a political protest. We conclude with a brief discussion of the academic and policy implications of these findings.
Embodying The Nordic Race Imaginaries Of Viking Heritage In The Online Communications Of The Nordic Resistance Movement
2019Kølvraa, C.Article
Kølvraa’s article focuses on the cultural imaginary of the Scandinavian extreme right by analysing the online presence of the so-called Nordic Resistance Movement. He seeks to show how the cultural imaginaries of this National Socialist organization make use of the Scandinavian Viking heritage in three distinct ways. First, to produce a distinctly Nordic form of National Socialism and thus potentially make this ideology palatable to Nordic publics. Second, to differentiate their racially oriented political project from a wider far-right or populist right concern with the defence of European Christian heritage and/or civilization against Islam. And, third, to thematize and perform a certain hyper-masculine identity, especially in the context of martial and sporting competitions arranged by the organization.
Charlie Hebdo, 2015: 'Liveness' And Acceleration Of Conflict In A Hybrid Media Event
2019Valaskivi, K., Tikka, M. and Sumiala, J.Article
In this article, the authors examine the intensification of liveness and its effects in the Charlie Hebdo attacks that took place in Paris in January 2015. In their investigation they first re-visit the existing theoretical literature on media, event and time, and discuss in particular the relationship between media events and the idea of liveness. They then move on to the empirical analysis of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and demonstrate the aspects of intensified liveness in the circulation of selected tweets. The analysis is based on a multi-method approach developed for the empirical study of hybrid media events. In conclusion, the authors argue that the liveness, experienced and carried out simultaneously on multiple platforms, favours stereotypical and immediate interpretations when it comes to making sense of the incidents unfolding before the eyes of global audiences. In this condition, incidents are interpreted ‘en direct’, but within the framework of older mnemonic schemes and mythologization of certain positions (e.g. victims, villains, heroes) in the narrative. This condition, they claim, further accelerates the conflict between the different participants that took part in the event.
New Technology in the Hands of the New Terrorism
2019Goertz, S. and Streitparth, A. E.Article
This chapter examines the technological opportunities of the digital age and the Internet for a multidirectional exchange of Jihadi ideas, ideology, strategy and tactics. Myriads of social networks on the Internet serve as platforms for Jihadi disputes, which shows that the Internet and telecommunication technology of the twenty-first century are of central importance for new terrorism. Currently, the World Wide Web and its numerous media channels are the most important and most commonly and frequently used communication and propaganda platforms of the Islamist and Jihadi milieu. The Internet allows free cross-border and real-time communication and interaction as well as the reception of (supposedly authentic) reports on the fate of individual Jihadis and developments in far-off conflict regions. These technological achievements of the twenty-first century have enabled the (imagined) worldwide Umma to interconnect and pose a historically new potential for Jihadi actors of new terrorism to mobilise and radicalise Muslims on a global scale.
A Comparative Analysis Of Right-wing Radical And Islamist Communities' Strategies For Survival In Social Networks - Evidence From The Russian Social Network Vkontakte
2019Myagkov, M., Shchekotin, E. V., Chudinov, S. I. and Goiko, Y. L.
This article presents a comparative analysis of online communities of right-wing radicals and Islamists, who are considered to be numerous and dangerous extremist groups in Russian society. The online communities were selected based on the content posted on the largest Russian social networking site VKontakte. The goal of this article is to determine the strategy and tactics employed by extremist online communities for survival on social networking sites. The authors discovered that both right-wing radical and Islamist groups employ similar behavioural techniques, with the mimicry of ideologically neutral content as the most common. In addition, every extremist community also applies some unique methods. For example, if there is a risk of being blocked, right-wing radicals tend to shift their activity and communication to the other Internet-based platforms that are not under state control; however, Islamists prefer to suddenly change the content of their communities (i.e. by using secondary mimicry).
Branding A Caliphate In Decline - The Islamic State’s Video Output (2015-2018)
2019Nanninga, P.Article
Although video releases have been central to the Islamic State’s efforts to represent itself to its audiences, an extensive quantitative and qualitative study of these sources over a longer period of time is still lacking. This paper therefore provides an overview and analysis of the entire corpus of official videos released by the Islamic State between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2018. It particularly focuses on how the Islamic State’s decline in Iraq and Syria during this period is reflected in its video output and how the group has responded to its setbacks. The paper demonstrates a strong correlation between the group’s mounting troubles and its video production: the numbers of videos decreased dramatically and their content reflects the Islamic State’s (re)transformation from a territory-based ‘state’ to an insurgent group relying on guerrilla tactics and terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, this paper argues that the Islamic State’s multi-faceted response to its setbacks might ensure the groups’ appeal to its target audience in the years to come.
Social Media Mechanisms For Right Wing Political Violence In The 21st Century Discursive Opportunities Group Dynamics And Co Ordination
2019Wahlstrom, M. & Tornberg, A.Article
This article maps mechanisms by which online social media activities may contribute to right-wing political violence. High-impact studies on the wave of right-wing and racist violence in the 1990s and early 2000s established that mass media discourse on immigrants and previous violent incidents had a significant influence on the prevalence of radical right violence. This link was captured by Koopmans's and Olzak’s notion of discursive opportunities. However, this was before the dominance of online social networks and social media, which changed the media landscape radically. We argue for broadening and refining the operationalization of the concept of discursive opportunities in social movement studies as well as including in our theoretical models new mechanisms brought about by the new online media. In relation to radical right and anti-immigrant mobilizations in Sweden in the 2010s, we elaborate and exemplify three mechanisms through which activities on social media may affect the incidence of violence: a) having an increasingly co-produced discursive opportunity structure, b) making inter-group dynamics in movement groups and networks trans-local, and c) sharing (rare) practical information and co-ordinating activities.
Paris And Nice Terrorist Attacks - Exploring Twitter And Web Archives
2019Schafer, V., Truc, G. and Badouard, R.Article
The attacks suffered by France in January and November 2015, and then in the course of 2016, especially the Nice attack, provoked intense online activity both during the events and in the months that followed. The digital traces left by this reactivity and reactions to events gave rise, from the very first days and even hours after the attacks, to a ‘real-time’ institutional archiving by the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF) and the National Audio-visual Institute (Institut national de l’audiovisuel, Ina). The results amount to millions of archived tweets and URLs. This article seeks to highlight some of the most significant issues raised by these relatively unprecedented corpora, from collection to exploitation, from online stream of data to its mediation and re-composition. Indeed, web archiving practices in times of emergency and crises are significant, almost emblematic, loci to explore the human and technical agencies, and the complex temporalities, of ‘born-digital’ heritage. The cases examined here emphasize the way these ‘emergency collections’ challenge the perimeters and the very nature of web archives as part of our digital and societal heritage, and the guiding visions of its governance and mission. Finally, the present analysis underlines the need for a careful contextualization of the design process – both of original web pages or tweets and of their archived images – and of the tools deployed to collect, retrieve and analyse them.
1 2 3 41