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 Online Regulation Series | Canada
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Canada’s approach to online regulation has, so far, been characterised by its support for tech sector self-regulation as opposed to government-led regulation of online content. However, concerns over foreign interference in Canadian politics and online hate speech and extremism, have led to public discussions considering the introduction of a legislation on harmful online content, and the possibility to make tech companies liable for content shared on their platforms.
The Online Regulation Series | Colombia
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
With a growing internet penetration rate (69%) and an increasing number of active social media users (35 million, at a growth rate of 11% between 2019 and 2020), the online space in Colombia remains governed by the principle of net neutrality.
The Online Regulation Series | France
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
France is, alongside New Zealand, an initiator of the Christchurch Call to Action to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. Prior to the Christchurch Call, France has elevated tackling terrorist use of the internet as a key pillar of its counterterrorism policy,[1] supporting the EU proposal on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online, including the requirement for tech platforms to remove flagged terrorist content within one hour.
The Online Regulation Series | Germany
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Germany has an extensive framework for regulating online content, particularly with regards to hate speech and violent extremist and terrorist material. Experts also note that Germany’s regulatory framework has to some extent helped set the standard for the European, and possibly global, regulatory landscape.
The Online Regulation Series | India
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
With almost 500 million Internet users, and a history of mis- and disinformation spreading on social media and messaging apps and occasionally resulting in violence, content moderation has been a pressing issue in India for quite some time. Regulation of content is covered by different legislations under the Indian Penal Code, the Information Technology Act (ITA), and Criminal Procedure Code, and shortly under the Framework and Guideline for use of Social Media.

Terrorist use of the internet in India is mostly regulated through the criminalisation of cybercrime, covered by Section 66F of the Information Technology Act, which regulates cybercrimes and electronic commerce.
The Online Regulation Series | Insights from Academia I
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
In this post, we look at academic analysis of global efforts to regulate online content and speech.
The Online Regulation Series | Insights from Academia II
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
To follow-up on our previous blogpost on academic analysis of the state of global online regulation, we take here a future oriented approach and provide an overview of academics and experts’ suggestions and analysis of what the future of online regulation might bring.
The Online Regulation Series | Kenya
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Kenya has “increasingly sought to remove online content”, both through requests and increased regulation, that it deems “immoral” or “defamatory”. Following terrorist attacks on civilian targets in recent years, the country has heightened its efforts around counterterrorism as well as online content regulation. Many of Kenya’s legislations have been criticised by civil society for their “broadness”, “vagueness”, and potential “detrimental implications for freedom of expression”. A proposed social media bill, if enacted, could largely impact social media companies and their users in Kenya, such as through strict regulations on user content.
The Online Regulation Series | Morocco
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Morocco’s online regulatory framework consists of different laws and codes that strive to limit the spread of content than can pose a threat to the Kingdom’s “integrity, security and public order”. Central to this framework are the 2003 Anti-Terrorism Law passed in the aftermath of the 2003 Casablanca bombings and the 2016 Press Code that lays out limitations journalisitic publications and public speech. However, the existing regulatory framework is not explicitly clear regarding implications for tech platforms and the government’s powers to filter the online space – something which has been criticised by civil society. According to Freedom House, the government also resorts to “extralegal means” to remove content that it deems “controversial or undesirable” by pressuring media outlets and online figures to delete such content.
The Online Regulation Series | Pakistan
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Over the last five years, Pakistan has introduced various measures aimed at regulating terrorist content online, including the 2020 Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules which directly targets content posted on social media, and the 2016 Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act which prohibits use of the internet for terrorist purposes.

These regulations supplement the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (ATA) that provides the baseline legal framework for counterterrorism measures in the country. The ATA does not specifically target terrorist use of the internet, however, it considers the dissemination of digital content “which glorifies terrorists or terrorist activities” to be an offence – under section 11W. The same section also prohibits the dissemination of content that incite to hatred or “gives projection” to a terrorist actor.
The Online Regulation Series | Singapore
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Singapore is often deemed to be Asia’s main tech hub and a top global alternative to the Silicon Valley. Many of the world’s major tech platforms – including GIFCT founders Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Youtube – have their headquarters for the Asia Pacific region in the Singapore. The government has been active in supporting the tech sector, advocating for an approach that promotes industry self-regulation and strong intellectual property laws.
The Online Regulation Series | Tech Sector Initiatives
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Although regulation frameworks of terrorist and harmful content online have been passed by governments in recent years, regulation in practice remains mostly a matter of solo or self-regulation by the tech sector. That is, when companies draft and apply their own rules for moderating user-generated content on their platforms or when they voluntarily comply with standards shared amongst the tech sector (the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism is one example), without such standards being enforced by law. This, coupled with increased public pressure to address the potential harmful impact of certain online content – in particular terrorist material – has led major tech companies to develop their own councils, consortiums, and boards to oversee their content moderation and its impact on freedom of speech online. In this blogpost, we provide an overview of some of the prominent tech sector initiatives in this area.
The Online Regulation Series | The European Union
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
The European Union (EU) is an influential voice in the global debate on regulation of online speech. For that reason, two upcoming regulatory regimes might – in addition to shaping EU digital policy – create global precedents for how to regulate both online speech generally and terrorist content specifically.
The Online Regulation Series | The Philippines
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
The Philippines is one of the countries worst affected by terrorism in the world, ranking as the ninth most affected country in the 2019 Global Terrorist Index. The country has long been investing in its counterterrorism apparatus and there have been some signs that the Philippines might introduce legislation that targets online terrorist content. This is to be understood in the context of a growing internet penetration rate and increased use of social media (+8.6% in 2019-2020), coupled with growing concerns for how terrorists use the internet in the country.
The Online Regulation Series | The United Kingdom
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
The United Kingdom has set out an ambitious online regulatory framework in its Online Harms White Paper, aiming to make the UK “the safest place in the world to be online” by countering various online harms ranging from cyberbullying to terrorist content. This is yet to come into effect, but the UK has approved an interim regime to fulfil obligations under the European Union Directive, which the UK needs to comply with during Brexit negotiations. The UK also has extensive counterterrorism legislation criminalising the viewing and sharing of terrorist content online.
The Online Regulation Series | The United States
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Online regulation and content moderation in the United States is defined by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act 1996, which establishes a unique level of immunity from legal liability for tech platforms. It has broadly impacted the innovation of the modern Internet, causing global effects beyond the US. Recently, however, the Trump Administration administered an executive order directing independent rules-making agencies to consider regulations that narrow the scope of Section 230 and investigate companies engaging in “unfair or deceptive” content moderation practices. This shook the online regulation framework and resulted in a wave of proposed bills and Section 230 amendments from both government and civil society.
The Online Regulation Series | Turkey
2020 Tech Against Terrorism Report
Online content regulation in Turkey is characterised by extensive removal of material that has resulted in a large number of Turkish and international websites being blocked in recent years. Further, the Turkish government recently introduced a Social Media Bill, implementing a wide range of new regulations and steep penalties for social media companies, which critics say poses further threats to online freedom of expression in the country.
The Ontogeny of Online Hate Speech: Do Social Media Platforms Drive Increased Hate or Reflect Existing Prejudices?
2020 Gallacher, J.D. Article
Hate speech is a growing concern online, with minorities and vulnerable groups increasingly targeted with extreme denigration and hostility. Why users express hate speech on social media is unclear. This study explores how this hate speech develops on both mainstream and fringe social media platforms; Facebook and Gab. We investigate whether users seek out hostile areas of these platforms in order to express hate, or whether users develop these opinions through a mechanism of socialisation, as they interact with others over time. We find evidence that some users do arrive on these platforms with pre-existing hate stances, while others develop them with time spent on the platform. We find that hate speech is unevenly distributed, with a small number of users contributing a large proportion of the hate on the platforms. Our analysis reveals how hate speech develops online, the important role of the group environment in accelerating its development and gives insight into the development of counter measures.
The Original Web of Hate - Revolution Muslim and American Homegrown Extremists
2015 Levin, B. Journal
Before the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leveraged the Internet into a truly modern quasi-state propaganda machine through horrendous online videos, travel handbooks, and sophisticated Twitter messengering, more humble yet highly effective precursors targeted youthful Western Muslims for radicalism, during a time when home grown plots peaked. These brash new entrants into the crowded freewheeling world of extremist cyber-haters joined racists, religious extremists of other faiths, Islamophobes, single issue proponents, as well as anti-government rhetoriticians and conspiracists. The danger from these evolving new provocateurs, then and now, is not that they represent a viewpoint that is widely shared by American Muslims. However, the earlier successful forays by extremist Salafists, firmly established the Internet as a tool to rapidly radicalize, train and connect a growing, but small number of disenfranchised or unstable young people to violence. The protections that the First Amendment provide to expression in the United States, contempt for Western policies and culture, contorted fundamentalism, and the initial successes of these early extremist Internet adopters, outlined here, paved the way for the ubiquitous and sophisticated online radicalization efforts we see today.
The Original Web of Hate Revolution Muslim and American Homegrown Extremists
2015 Levin, B. Article
Before the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leveraged the Internet into a truly modern quasi-state propaganda machine through horrendous online videos, travel handbooks, and sophisticated Twitter messengering, more humble yet highly effective precursors targeted youthful Western Muslims for radicalism, during a time when home grown plots peaked. These brash new entrants into the crowded freewheeling world of extremist cyber-haters joined racists, religious extremists of other faiths, Islamophobes, single issue proponents, as well as anti-government rhetoriticians and conspiracists. The danger from these evolving new provocateurs, then and now, is not that they represent a viewpoint that is widely shared by American Muslims. However, the earlier successful forays by extremist Salafists, firmly established the Internet as a tool to rapidly radicalize, train and connect a growing, but small number of disenfranchised or unstable young people to violence. The protections that the First Amendment provide to expression in the United States, contempt for Western policies and culture, contorted fundamentalism, and the initial successes of these early extremist Internet adopters, outlined here, paved the way for the ubiquitous and sophisticated online radicalization efforts we see today.