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
Disrupting the Digital Divide: Extremism's Integration of Online / Offline Practice
2019 Mattheis, A. Report
In its offline aspect the broader right-wing movement is comprised of a range of groups and idealogical variances that have traditionally had difficulty coalescing into a coherent movement with broad appeal. In its online aspect, right-wing extremist practice is focused on spreading ideaology, recruiting and radicalization, and building transnational communities.
"Pine Tree" Twitter and the Shifting Ideological Foundations of Eco-Extremism
2019 Hughes, B. Report
Eco-fascism is emerging at both the highest levels of state and the lowest reaches of the political underworld. However, this may be only part of a much larger, more idealogically complex, emerging extremist threat. The climate crisis--and the crisis of global financial capitalism from which it is inextricable--may yet be driving a realignment of extremist environmental politics. An exploratory analysis of radical environmentalist discourse on the Twitter platform reveals the emergence of an ecological extremism that confounds contemporary understandings of the left, right, authoritarian and liberal. If this represents the future of eco-extremism, it may be necessary for researchers and practitioners to reorient the frameworks that guide their assessment of emerging risks.
This is Not a Game: How Steam Harbors Extremists
2020 Anti-Defamation League Report
Steam, the largest and most important online store for PC gamers with over $4 Billion in revenue in 2017, has recently gained popularity among white supremacists for being a platform, like Gab and Telegram, where they can openly express their ideology and calls for violence. The difference between Steam and social media platforms like Telegram or Gab is that while the latter do not share a formal business relationship with the wider social media industry, Steam has direct and lucrative relationships with most major game companies, including 2K, Electronic Arts, Xbox Game Studios, Ubisoft and others. Many of these game companies have made public statements about and dedicated significant resources towards keeping their products safe from the kinds of hateful ideologies espoused by extremists -- while continuing to work with Steam.
Counterterrorism Yearbook 2020
2020 Kfir, I. and Coyne, J. (Eds.) Report
This year’s Counterterrorism Yearbook draws upon 19 contributing authors, each a renowned thought leader in their field, to promote practical counterterrorism solutions by reviewing a global range of terrorism developments and counterterrorism responses. ASIO’s Director General, Mike Burgess commends the publication for its ‘valuable contribution to the public discourse on counterterrorism’. While maintaining its geographic focus, the Yearbook now includes thematic chapters on mental health, strategic policing, the media, the terror–crime nexus and terrorist innovation. These new thematic chapters have been included to encourage governments to consider more proactive CT agendas that move beyond the current focus on disrupting plots and discouraging people from joining and supporting terrorist groups. The focus here has been on promoting new thinking on how to deal with emergent areas of concern, such as comorbidity of mental health, use of gaming platforms, and artificial intelligence.
Countering Terrorist Narratives Online and Offline
2020 United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Report
The present Analytical Brief was prepared by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) in accordance with Security Council resolution 2395 (2017), which directs CTED to conduct analytical work on emerging issues, trends and developments and to make its analytical products available throughout the United Nations system.

Terrorist groups have always sought to radicalize others (especially young people) to violence. However, over the past decade, their propaganda and radicalization efforts have occurred at greater speed and with a bigger range, a process facilitated by the fastest, broadest expansion of mass communications in human history. As a consequence, Member States have been forced to expand their efforts to combat terrorist communications beyond merely blocking or removing online terrorist propaganda and have increasingly emphasized countering terrorist narratives. In May 2017, the Security Council adopted its resolution 2354 (2017), which welcomed the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s “Comprehensive International Framework to Counter Terrorist Narratives.” In accordance with the Framework, Member States and other stakeholders should not only emphasize terrorists’ inhumanity and the flaws in their arguments, but also develop positive or alternative narratives that promote a holistic worldview and encourage non-violent pathways to address grievances and feelings of powerlessness and alienation.
Hosting Hate
2018 HOPE not hate Report
Extreme online content from far-right organisations, including the website of a banned terrorist group, is accessible via hardware based in the UK, potentially in breach of the law, and in contrast with Theresa May’s call for technology companies to act to remove terrorist content from their platforms.
Cyber Swarming, Memetic Warfare and Viral Insurgency: How Domestic Militants Organize on Memes to Incite Violent Insurrection and Terror Against Government and Law Enforcement
2020 Goldenberg, A. and Finkelstein, J. Report
In this briefing, we document a recently formed apocalyptic militia ideology which, through the use of memes—coded inside jokes conveyed by image or text—advocates extreme violence against law enforcement and government officials. Termed the 'boogaloo', this ideology self-organizes across social media communities, boasts tens of thousands of users, exhibits a complex division of labor, evolves well-developed channels to innovate and distribute violent propaganda, deploys a complex communication network on extremist, mainstream and dark Web communities, and articulates a hybrid structure between lone-wolf and cell-like organization. Like a virus which awakens from dormancy, this meme has emerged with startling speed in merely the last 3–4 months.
Bots, Fake News and The Anti-Muslim Message on Social Media
2018 HOPE not hate Report
• In this report, we show how recent terror attacks in the UK have been successfully exploited by anti-Muslim activists over social media, to increase their reach and grow their audiences.
• Monitoring key anti-Muslim social media accounts and their networks, we show how even small events are amplified through an international network of activists.
• We also provide concrete evidence of a leading anti-Muslim activist whose message is hugely amplified by the use of a 100+ strong ‘bot army’.
• The global reach, low price and lack of regulation on social media platforms presents new possibilities for independent, single issue and extremist viewpoints to gain significant audiences.
• We delve into the murky and secretive world of the dark web to explore just what tools are available for manipulating social media and show how easy it is to make use of these tactics even for non-tech savvy users.
• Through testing, we conclude that even cheaply inflating one’s number of followers has an effect on the ability to reach a larger audience.
• We situate these developments in the context of increasing hostility towards Muslims and immigration in the Europe and the US.
• “Trigger events” such as terror attacks, and other events that reflect badly on Muslims and Islam, cause both an increase in anti-Muslim hate on the street and, as we will show, also online.
Starting Points for Combating Hate Speech Online
2015 Titley, G., Keen, E. and Földi, L. Report
Young People Combating Hate Speech Online is a project of the Council of Europe’s youth sector running between 2012 and 2015. The project aims to combat racism and discrimination in their online expression of hate speech by equipping young people and youth organisations with the competences necessary to recognize and act against such human rights violations. Central to the project is a European youth media campaign which will be designed and implemented with the agency of young people and youth organisations. As a preparation for the project, the Council of Europe’s Youth Department commissioned three “mapping” studies about the realities of hate speech and young people and projects and campaigns about it. These studies are published here as a resource for the activists, youth leaders, researchers, partners and decision makers associated to the project and the online campaign. They are truly a starting points: more research is needed, both on the legal and policy implications of hate speech online as on its impact and relation with young people.
Hate Speech and Radicalisation Online The OCCI Research Report
2019 Baldauf, J., Ebner, J. and Guhl, J. (Eds.) Report
The research series Hate Speech and Radicalisation on the Internet provides interdisciplinary insights into the current developments of extremist activities on the internet. With the aid of expert contributions from all over Germany, the psychological, political, anthropological and technological aspects of online hate speech and radicalisation will be considered and recommendations will be made for political leaders, social media platforms as well as NGOs and activists.
Country-Level Report on Drivers of Self-Radicalisation and Digital Sociability
2020 Dechesne, M., Nilsen, A.B. and Paton, N. Report
In this report, we present an empirical study from Twitter on how Islamist extremists and right wing extremists are active on Twitter. Our study was based on ethnographic, automatic text and network analyses of data from German female and male Twitter accounts.
An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada
2020 Davey, J., Guerin, C. and and Hart, M. Report
This report represents the interim findings of a two-year study designed to increase understanding of the social media footprint of right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada. This work is part of a larger project designed to understand RWE in Canada led by Ontario Tech University (OTU), in partnership with Michigan State University and the University of New Brunswick. This team are currently working on a similar project designed to map offline RWE in Canada. The project follows a similar study delivered in 2015, enabling researchers and policymakers to understand how RWE has changed in the past five years.
A-safe-space-to-hate-white-supremacist-mobilisation-on-telegram
2020 Guhl, J. and Davey, J. Report
The briefing highlights how through its limited content moderation policies Telegram has become a safe space for white supremacists to share and discuss a range of explicit extremist material. Furthermore, it shows that through the many of these Telegram communities have become permissive environments where overt calls for violence and support for terrorism is widespread. Much of the content which we have identified appears to breach Telegram’s terms of service which prohibit the promotion of violence, suggesting that the platform’s current enforcement of its policies is not effective.
The Propaganda Pipeline: The ISIS Fuouaris Upload Network on Facebook
2020 Ayad, M. Report
This new investigation from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) delves into the inner workings of a pro-ISIS account network on Facebook, providing a case study of the resilient network dynamics, technological loopholes, and cross-platform activity that allowed a web of accounts to survive and flourish for over three months on a platform which purports to be a hostile environment for terrorist actors.
Rechtsterrorismus im digitalen Zeitalter
2020 Albrecht, S. and Fielitz, M. Report
Der Rechtsterrorismus ist im digitalen Zeitalter angekommen. Von Christchurch bis El Paso haben sich neue Ausdrucksformen rechter Gewalt etabliert, deren Täter mehr in digitalen Subkulturen als in rechtsextremen Organisationen zu verorten sind. Die radikalisierenden Tendenzen obskurer Online-Communitys geraten somit stärker in den Fokus der Forschung und fordern das Verständnis von rechtem Terror heraus. Wie verändert sich der Rechtsterrorismus also im digitalen Zeitalter? Mit diesem Beitrag möchten wir diese Frage mit dem Verweis auf die Beziehung von digitalen Hasskulturen und rechtsterroristischer Gewalt beleuchten. Wir argumentieren, dass die Analyse der Gewalttaten nicht ohne das Verständnis digitaler Hasskulturen auskommt, die Menschenfeindlichkeit über ironische Kommunikationsformate normalisiert. Aus ihnen heraus bildet sich eine rechtsterroristische Subkultur, die die ambivalenten Erzeugnisse digitaler Kulturen aufgreift und mit gewaltverherrlichenden Inhalten des Neonazismus verbindet, um eines zu erreichen: Menschen zur Gewalt anzuspornen.
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 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.
Proposals for Improved Regulation of Harmful Online Content
2020 Benesch, S. Report
This paper offers a set of specific proposals for better describing harmful content online and for reducing the damage it causes, while protecting freedom of expression. The ideas are mainly meant for OSPs since they regulate the vast majority of online content; taken together they operate the largest system of censorship the world has ever known, controlling more human communication than any government. Governments, for their part, have tried to berate or force the companies into changing their policies, with limited and often repressive results. For these reasons, this paper focuses on what OSPs should do to diminish harmful content online. The proposals focus on the rules that form the basis of each regulation system, as well as on other crucial steps in the regulatory process, such as communicating rules to platform users, giving multiple stakeholders a role in regulation, and enforcement of the rules.
One year since the Christchurch Call to Action: A Review
2020 Pandey, P. Report
This brief analyses the impact of the Christchurch Call to Action, issued to gather countries and technology companies to stop the use of the internet for disseminating violent extremist content. The Call was the result of a summit organised shortly after a terrorist attack in New Zealand in March 2019. This brief finds that the Call lacks clear conceptual definitions and is singularly focused on social media platforms. It also raises questions about how such efforts can maintain a balance between safeguarding digital platforms against terrorist and violent content, while preserving essential freedoms including of speech and expression.
Turning the Tap Off: The Impacts of Social Media Shutdown After Sri Lanka’s Easter Attacks
2020 Amarasingam, A. and Rizwie, R. Report
This report examines the social media shutdown in the wake of the Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka, and its impacts on journalists and post-incident communal violence. By highlighting the shutdown’s limitations, social costs and impact on misinformation, this report presents key recommendations for policy-makers, journalists and other key stakeholders. This report is part of a wider project, led by the International Centre for Counter- Terrorism (ICCT) – the Hague, and funded by the EU Devco on “Mitigating the Impact of Media Reporting of Terrorism”. This project aims to produce evidence-based guidance and capacity building outputs based on original, context-sensitive research into the risks and opportunities in media reporting of terrorism and terrorist incidents. The role of media reporting on terrorism has been under investigated and is an underutilised dimension of a holistic counter-terrorism strategy. How the media reports on terrorism has the potential to impact counter-terrorism (CT) perspective positively or negatively.