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.

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TitleYearAuthorTypeLinks
Options and Strategies for Countering Online Radicalization in the United States
2013 Neumann, P. Journal
The purpose of this article is to inform the debate about strategies and options for countering online radicalization within the U.S. domestic context. Its aim is to provide a better understanding of how the Internet facilitates radicalization; an appreciation of the dilemmas and tradeoffs that are involved in countering online radicalization within the United States; and ideas and best practices for making the emerging approach and strategy richer and more effective. It argues that online radicalization can be dealt with in three ways. Approaches aimed at restricting freedom of speech and removing content from the Internet are not only the least desirable, they are also the least effective. Instead, government should play a more energetic role in reducing the demand for radicalization and violent extremist messages—for example, by encouraging civic challenges to extremist narratives and by promoting awareness and education of young people. In the short term, the most promising way for dealing with the presence of violent extremists and their propaganda on the Internet is to exploit their online communications to gain intelligence and gather evidence in the most comprehensive and systematic fashion possible.
King's College London Online Radicalisation
2014 Neumann, P. and Stevens, T. Video
Dr Peter Neumann and Tim Stevens of VOX-Pol partner, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at Kings College London, discuss the role of cyberspace in terrorism and insurgency. They ask if policies such as internet censorship are effective measure to counteract online radicalisation. Originally uploaded by ICSR on 12 February 2010
Countering Online Radicalisation: A Strategy for Action
2009 Neumann, P. and Stevens, T. Report
Efforts to counter online radicalisation must view new technologies and modes of interaction not as a threat but as an opportunity. Relying on government alone is not sufficient. It is vital to capitalise upon the potential contributions of all stakeholders, including internet companies and internet users.
Online Radicalization Myths and Realities
2013 New American Foundation Video
90 minute panel discussion on the myths and realities of online radicalisation chaired by the New America Foundation in collaboration with the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Originally published by the New America Foundation on 29 May 2013
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg
2018 Ní Aoláin F. Letter
A letter to Mr. Zuckerberg from the UN Rapporteur on the definition of terrorism.
Too Dark To See Explaining Adolescents Contact With Online Extremism And Their Ability To Recognize It
2019 Nienierza, A., Reinemann, C., Fawzi, N., Riesmeyer, C. and Neumann, K. Article
Adolescents are considered especially vulnerable to extremists’ online activities because they are ‘always online’ and because they are still in the process of identity formation. However, so far, we know little about (a) how often adolescents encounter extremist content in different online media and (b) how well they are able to recognize extremist messages. In addition, we do not know (c) how individual-level factors derived from radicalization research and (d) media and civic literacy affect extremist encounters and recognition abilities. We address these questions based on a representative face-to-face survey among German adolescents (n = 1,061) and qualitative interviews using a think-aloud method (n = 68). Results show that a large proportion of adolescents encounter extremist messages frequently, but that many others have trouble even identifying extremist content. In addition, factors known from radicalization research (e.g., deprivation, discrimination, specific attitudes) as well as extremism-related media and civic literacy influence the frequency of extremist encounters and recognition abilities.
Jihadism Online Norwegian FFI
2006 Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) Report
Brief analysis of how terrorists use the Internet, implications of Jihadism online, recruitment and radicalisation on the Internet, and counterterrorism and Jihadism online.
Understanding the Radical Mind: Identifying Signals to Detect Extremist Content on Twitter
2019 Nouh, M., Nurse, J. R. C. and Goldsmith, M. Article
The Internet and, in particular, Online Social Networks have changed the way that terrorist and extremist groups can influence and radicalise individuals. Recent reports show that the mode of operation of these groups starts by exposing a wide audience to extremist material online, before migrating them to less open online platforms for further radicalization. Thus, identifying radical content online is crucial to limit the reach and spread of the extremist narrative. In this paper, our aim is to identify measures to automatically detect radical content in social media. We identify several signals, including textual, psychological and behavioural, that together allow for the classification of radical messages. Our contribution is threefold: (1) we analyze propaganda material published by extremist groups and create a contextual text-based model of radical content, (2) we build a model of psychological properties inferred from these material, and (3) we evaluate these models on Twitter to determine the extent to which it is possible to automatically identify online radical tweets. Our results show that radical users do exhibit distinguishable textual, psychological, and behavioural properties. We find that the psychological properties are among the most distinguishing features. Additionally, our results show that textual models using vector embedding features significantly improves the detection over TF-IDF features. We validate our approach on two experiments achieving high accuracy. Our findings can be utilized as signals for detecting online radicalization activities.
Extreme Far Right Groups’ Use of Social Media: A Focus on Britain First and Reclaim Australia
2017 Nouri, L., Lorenzo-Dus, N., and Di-Cristofaro, M. Report
This report contains findings from a study that investigated extreme far right groups’
usages of social media. This was a collaborative project building on an existing
partnership between the Departments of Linguistics and Criminology at Swansea
University, and on the development of a new partnership with the social media
analytics company ‘Blurrt’ (www.blurrt.co.uk). The project was funded by the
CHERISH-DE multidisciplinary research centre at Swansea University
(http://www.cherish-de.uk/) and the School of Arts & Humanities at Edith Cowan
University (https://www.ecu.edu.au/schools/arts-and-humanities).
This report provides an overview of the aims, methodology and key findings of this
project. The project was conducted between January and August 2017. It drew upon
data from two social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter), collected over a 10-
week period (January-April 2017), and concerned two extreme far right groups:
Britain First and Reclaim Australia. Further publications will be appearing in due
course and those interested in hearing more about the project should contact the
report’s authors (details on p.23).
Differentiating Al Qaeda and the Islamic State Through Strategies Publicized in Jihadist Magazines
2015 Novenarioa, C.M.I. Journal
As Al Qaeda and the Islamic State vie for ascendancy in the jihad movement, policymakers grapple with distinguishing the threat posed by these groups. Proceeding from the terrorists’ view of media as a critical arena of jihad, this study applies content analysis to Al Qaeda- and Islamic State-produced magazines in order to empirically differentiate the two groups through the strategies publicized therein. Findings reveal that Al Qaeda consistently employs attrition to compel changes in the West's policy and behavior, while the Islamic State has shifted from intimidating populations to outbidding competing groups to solidify its claim to the Caliphate.
Men Are Scum: Self-Regulation, Hate Speech, And Gender-Based Censorship On Facebook
2019 Nurik,C. Article
Because social media sites are self-regulating, each site has developed its own community standards, which serve as regulatory tools. However, the processes of content moderation are often unclear, subjective, and discriminatory. Drawing from a series of interviews with individuals in the “Men Are Scum” movement, this article describes the experiences of women who have been censored on Facebook and explores whether self-regulatory processes on this platform are distinctly gendered. It asserts that both explicit censorship (e.g., limited displays of the body) and implicit censorship (e.g., rampant and unchecked hate speech silencing women’s voices) are operatives on Facebook, limiting women’s expressive potentiality. Thus, this article proposes the term “gender-based censorship” as a lens through which to understand women’s experiences on Facebook. These findings help reveal the pitfalls of industry self-regulation in which profit motives are prioritized over the protection of users (especially those who may be marginalized offline).
Echo Chambers and Online Radicalism: Assessing the Internet's Complicity in Violent Extremism
2015 O'Hara, K. and Stevens, D. Journal
This article considers claims made by various authors that the use of filtering and recommendation technology on the Internet can deprive certain communities of feedback, and instead amplify groups' viewpoints, leading to polarization of opinion across communities, and increases in extremism. The ‘echo chamber’ arguments of Cass Sunstein are taken as representative of this point of view, and examined in detail in the context of a range of research, theoretical and empirical, quantitative and qualitative, in political science and the sociology of religion, from the last quarter century. The conclusion is that the case has not been made either (a) that echo chambers are necessarily harmful, or (b) that the Internet is complicit in their formation.
Tackling Insurgent Ideologies 2.0: Rapporteurs' Report
2020 Observer Research Foundation Report
As the global political barometer increasingly shifts towards insularity, protectionism and propaganda-driven populism across countries, the CVE community is faced with a varied set of challenges. Whether it is on the question of dealing with returning ISIS FTFs, and preventing their move to different geographical theatres; or combatting majoritarian groups that rally around grievances, race or religion and fuel extreme violence—we need to ask ourselves how much more vulnerable we are today, and identify where the fault lines lie. While addressing these challenges, it is equally necessary to ensure that the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms are balanced as governments address security priorities. It is with the desire to see more global conversation on the manifold ideologies that drive violence and the responsibility of governments, platforms and civil society engaged in CVE initiatives that the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) organised the second iteration of Tackling Insurgent Ideologies, with the theme “Implementing the Christchurch Call: Towards a Global CVE Agenda.” We brought together a diverse group of policymakers, researchers and practitioners involved in the process of developing strategies that deal with the proliferation of radicalism and violence to debate and discuss best practices, learnings and a way forward.
UK Insight Report Volume 4 Summary
2018 OCCI Report
The OCCI Insight Reports equip NGO partners on an ongoing basis with the knowledge
needed to develop effective, targeted campaigns. Without access to in-depth, data-driven
insights into the fast-evolving landscape of extremist and terrorist propaganda, narratives
and networks, it is impossible to mount a proportional targeted response. Additionally, the
reports highlight recommendations for future counterspeech campaigning to address the
identified narratives. OCCI will work closely with any organisation who is interested in
piloting and implementing these recommendations.
Reviewing the Role of the Internet in Radicalization Processes
2019 Odağa, Ö., Leiserb, A. and Boehnkec, K. Article
This review presents the existing research on the role of the Internet in radicalization processes. Using a systematic literature search strategy, our paper yields 88 studies on the role of the Internet in a) right-wing extremism and b) radical jihadism. Available studies display a predominant interest in the characteristics of radical websites and a remarkable absence of a user-centred perspective. They show that extremist groups make use of the Internet to spread right wing or jihadist ideologies, connect like-minded others in echo chambers and cloaked websites, and address particularly marginalized individuals of a society, with specific strategies for recruitment. Existing studies have thus far not sufficiently examined the users of available sites, nor have they studied the causal mechanisms that unfold at the intersection between the Internet and its users. The present review suggests avenues for future research, drawing on media and violence research and research on social identity and deindividuation effects in computer-mediated communication.
Structuring of the Terrorism Problem in the Digital Age: A Systems Perspective
2018 Odhiambi Achieng, N., Ochara Muganda, N., Kadymatimba, A. Article
Terrorism is a global challenge of the 21 st century. The Kenya Westgate Mall attack and Garrissa University attacks in 2015 and the Libya suicide bombings, did not only claim the lives of many, but also had great political consequences. The advancements, ease of access and availability of information and communication technologies (ICT) is blamed for the increases in terrorist attacks: for instance, the Internet and especially, social media. This is because through the Internet, terrorist organizations such as ISIS have come up with innovative ways to recruit new members, to train and even disseminate ideologies. However, the terrorist opponents (counter-terrorism organizations) also have developed innovative counter-measures using ICT. Therefore, understanding and structuring terrorism in this digital age has enhanced the complexity in addition to multiple stakeholders involved in terrorism related incidences, intertwined causal-relationships, and the uncertainties in the mode of operandi of the terrorists. In this study, theory of synergetics is applied both as a theoretical and methodological approach to try structure the terrorism problem. Secondary data sources such as journal articles on terrorism related incidences and search terms (i.e. terrorism AND technology, terrorism AND Internet), were used by the researchers' to identify and include relevant documents in the study. Following the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the researchers remained with only 405 documents from which using the qualitative software Nvivo, a word cloud was developed to pictorially visualize the terrorism problem. Thereafter, relying on synergetics and using results from the word cloud, the researchers' were able to create a conceptual model. The findings from the analysis of the conceptual model showed that technology plays a critical role in the fight against terrorism as it appears to be part of each of the various components of synergetics, namely, order parameters, system elements, internal and external constraints, control parameters and environment.
Responding To The Threat Of Cyberterrorism Through Information Assurance
1999 Ogren, J. G. and Langevin, J. R. MA Thesis
The number of people connecting to the Internet is growing at an astounding rate: estimates range from 100% to 400% annually over the next five years. This unprecedented level of interconnectedness has brought with it the specter of a new threat: cyberterrorism. This thesis examines the impact of this threat on the critical infrastructure of the United States specifically focusing on Department of Defense issues and the National Information Infrastructure (NII). A working definition for cyberterrorism is derived, and a description of the Nation's critical infrastructure is provided. A number of possible measures for countering the threat of cyberterrorism are discussed, with particular attention given to the concept of information assurance.

Information assurance demands that trustworthy systems be developed from untrustworthy components within power-generation systems, banking, transportation, emergency services, and telecommunications. The importance of vulnerability testing (or red-teaming) is emphasized as part of the concept of information assurance. To support this, a cyberterrorist 'red team' was formed to participate in the Marine Corps' Urban Warrior Experiment. The objective of t his thesis is to address the impact of these issues from a Systems Management perspective. This includes taking into account the changes that must occur in order to improve the U.S.' ability to detect, protect against, contain, neutralize, mitigate the effects of, and recover from attacks on the Nation's Critical Infrastructure.
Halting Boko Haram / Islamic State's West Africa Province Propaganda In Cyberspace With Cybersecurity Technologies
2019 Ogunlana, S. O. Article
Terrorists use cyberspace and social media technology to create fear and spread violent ideologies, which pose a significant threat to public security. Researchers have documented the importance of the application of law and regulation in dealing with the criminal activities in cyberspace. Using routine activity theory, this article assessed the effectiveness of technological approaches to mitigating the expansion and organization of terrorism in cyberspace. Data collection included open-source documents, government threat assessments, legislation, policy papers, and peer-reviewed academic literature and semistructured interviews with fifteen security experts in Nigeria. The key findings were that the new generation of terrorists who are more technological savvy are growing, cybersecurity technologies are effective, and bilateral/multilateral cooperation is essential to combat the expansion of terrorism in cyberspace. The data provided may be useful to stakeholders responsible for national security, counterterrorism, law enforcement on the choice of cybersecurity technologies to confront terrorist expansion in cyberspace.
Perceived Societal Fear and Cyberhate after the November 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks
2018 Oksanen, A., Kaakinen, M., Minkkinen, J., Räsänen, P., Enjolras, B. and Steen-Johnsen, K. Article
Fear is one of the negative outcomes of terrorist attacks. Currently, there is a need to understand how societal fear and fear of terrorism might be shaped and induced by social-media discussions. This study analyzed how exposure to cyberhate was associated with perceived societal fear after the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. Demographically balanced data sets were collected from France, Spain, Finland, Norway, and the United States four weeks after the attacks. Cyberhate exposure was associated with higher perceived societal fear in all countries studied even when adjusting for confounding factors. This was particularly evident in the case of cyberhate related to terrorism. Hateful online communication after disruptive events may contribute to a social climate of fear and escalate societal uncertainty. There are, however, indications that social trust may bolster against perceived societal fear, hence enhancing resilience.
Online Radicalisation: The Net or the Netizen?
2014 Omotoyinbo, F.R. Journal
Radicalisation has gained some unusual prominence in the academic
circles; maintaining a generic existence not only in the political sector. And with the
advent of the Information Communication Technology (ICT), radicalisation has
begun to have some virtual dimension even in the remotest of human communities.
This study seeks to mobilise a universal awareness on the collective urgency to oppose
Online Radicalisation (a radicalisation that happens through the internet) due to its
propensity to engendering conflicts. It also aims at identifying the principal cause of
online radicalisation and steer a clear course for a practical reversal in the systems of
online radicalisation.