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
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.
Ethical Dilemmas in Qualitative Research with Youth On/Offline
2014 Livingstone, S and Locatelli, E. Article
Research on the digital and online environment poses several ethical questions that are new or, at least, newly pressing, especially in relation to youth. Established ethical practices require that research have integrity, quality, transparency, and impartiality. They also stipulate that risks to the researcher, institution, data, and participants should be anticipated and addressed. But difficulties arise when applying these to an environment in which the online and offline intersect in shifting ways. This paper discusses some real-life “digital dilemmas” to identify the emerging consensus among researchers. We note the 2012 guidelines by the Association of Internet Researchers, which advocates for ethical pluralism, for minimizing harm, and for the responsibility of the researcher where codes are insufficient.
As a point of contrast, we evaluate Markham’s (2012) radical argument for data fabrication
as and ethical practice. In reflecting on how researchers of the digital media practices of youth resolve their dilemmas in practice, we take up Markham’s challenge of identifying evolving practice, including researchers’ workarounds, but we eschew her solution of fabrication. Instead, we support the emerging consensus that while rich data are increasingly available for collection, they should not always be fully used or even retained in order to protect human subjects in a digital world in which future possible uses of data exceed the control of the researcher who collected them.
Big Data Ethics
2014 Richards, N.M. and King, J.H. Journal
We are on the cusp of a “Big Data” Revolution, in which increasingly large datasets are mined for important predictions and often surprising insights. The predictions and decisions this revolution will enable will transform our society in ways comparable to the Industrial Revolution. We are now at a critical moment; big data uses today will be sticky and will settle both default norms and public notions of what is “no big deal” regarding big data predictions for years to come.
This paper argues that big data, broadly defined, is producing increased powers of institutional awareness and power that require the development of a Big Data Ethics. We are building a new digital society, and the values we build or fail to build into our new digital structures will define us. Critically, if we fail to balance the human values that we care about, like privacy, confidentiality, transparency, identity and free choice with the compelling uses of big data, our Big Data Society risks abandoning these values for the sake of innovation and expediency.
The Devil's Long Tail: Religious and Other Radicals in the Internet Marketplace
2014 Stevens, D. and O’Hara, K. Book
This book is concerned with the links or relationships between religious radicalism, violent extremism and the Internet.
Home-Grown Jihadism in Italy: Birth, Development and Radicalization Dynamics
2014 Vidino, L. Book
This study aims only at analysing the dynamics of jihadist radicalisation in Italy. It is not meant to be a study of Islam or of the Italian Muslim community. Rather, it describes a phenomenon that, in Italy as in any other Western country, affects a statistically insignificant percentage of the Muslim population. Throughout Europe, jihadism is a fringe phenomenon, much debated but affecting only a few isolated individuals within largely peaceful Muslim communities.
The Radical Online: Individual Radicalization Processes and the Role of the Internet
2014 Koehler, D. Journal
This paper examines in detail the role of the Internet in individual radicalization processes of eight German former right-wing extremists. Applying Grounded Theory methodology the qualitative interviews were analyzed in several coding and re-coding phases. The findings are integrated into the existing literature afterwards. Besides well known factors, such as more effective communication, anonymity and better networking opportunities, this study found evidence that the Internet is a major driving factor to establish and foster the development of radical contrast societies (cf. Koehler, 2015) transmitting radical and violent ideologies and translating them into political activism. As a venue for information exchange, ideological development and training, the individual radicalization process was characteristically shaped or even made possible through the Internet. This paper also shows the high value of qualitative research regarding the topic in contrast to usually employed quantitative analysis of webpage content.
Radicalisation In The Digital Era: The Use of the Internet in 15 Cases of Terrorism and Extremism
2014 von Behr, I., Reding, A., Edwards, C. and Gribbon, L. Report
This study explores how the internet is used by individuals in the process of their radicalisation. It is based on primary data drawn from a variety of sources: evidence presented at trial, computer registries of convicted terrorists, interviews with convicted terrorists and extremists, as well as police senior investigative officers responsible for terrorist investigations.
De leefwereld en denkbeelden van Nederlandse en Belgische Syriëgangers: een analyse van elf Facebook-accounts
2014 Grol, P., Weggemans, D. and Bakker, E. Article
Content analysis of the posts from eleven Facebook accounts of known Dutch and Belgian foreign fighters (in Dutch). English summary is available here: http://leidensafetyandsecurityblog.nl/articles/foreign-fighters-on-social-media-an-analysis-of-11-facebook-accounts
The Dark Side of Online Activism: Swedish Right-Wing Extremist Video Activism on YouTube
2014 Ekman, M. Journal
In recent years, an emerging body of work, centred on specific communicative forms used in facilitating collective and connective action, have contributed to greater understanding of how digital communication relates to social mobilisation. Plenty of these studies highlight the progressive potentiality of digital communication. However, undemocratic actors also utilise the rapid advancement in digital technology. This article explores the online video activism of extreme right-wing groups in Sweden. It analyses more than 200 clips on YouTube, produced by five right-wing extremist organisations. The study shows that the extreme right deploy video activism as a strategy of visibility to mobilise and strengthen activists. Moreover, the groups attempt to alter the perception of (historically-rooted) socio-political identi- ties of the extreme right. Furthermore, YouTube becomes a political arena in which action repertoires and street politics are adapted to the specific characteristics of online video activism. Finally, video activism could be understood as an aestheticisation of politics.
Detecting Linguistic Markers for Radical Violence in Social Media
2014 Cohen, K., Johansson, F., Kaati, L. and Clausen Mork, J. Journal
Lone-wolf terrorism is a threat to the security of modern society, as was tragically shown in Norway on July 22, 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik carried out two terrorist attacks that resulted in a total of 77 deaths. Since lone wolves are acting on their own, information about them cannot be collected using traditional police methods such as infiltration or wiretapping. One way to attempt to discover them before it is too late is to search for various ‘‘weak signals’’ on the Internet, such as digital traces left in extremist web forums. With the right tools and techniques, such traces can be collected and analyzed. In this work, we focus on tools and techniques that can be used to detect weak signals in the form of linguistic markers for potential lone wolf terrorism.
Countering the Appeal of Extremism Online
2014 Briggs, R. and Feve, S. Policy
This Policy Briefing was commissioned by the Danish government and addresses various methods for tackling online extremism. It draws on discussions which took place at a Policy Planners Network (PPN) meeting held with a range of relevant stakeholders that took place in Copenhagen in June 2013.
Technological Skills of White Supremacists in an Online Forum: A Qualitative Examination
2014 Holt, T.J. and Bolden, M.S. Journal
Research surrounding radicalization to and use of violence among extremist and terror groups has expanded over the last decade. There are still fundamental questions that must be addressed, particularly regarding the role of the Internet in radicalisation and recruitment as well as general technological skill within extremist groups. Few studies have considered this issue, especially among Far Right groups which have been identified as one of the top threats to public safety within the United States. This exploratory study addresses these issues using a qualitative analysis of a sample of threads from a technology-specific subforum of a widely used web forum in the white nationalist and white power movement. The findings demonstrate that the process of information sharing is distinct from that of more sophisticated deviant and criminal communities on-line, as users readily answer basic technological questions rather than discuss offensive attack techniques. The implications of this study for future research are examined in depth.
Modified Frequency-Based Term Weighting Scheme for Accurate Dark Web Content Classification
2014 Sabbah, T. and Selamat, A. Chapter
Security informatics and intelligence computation plays a vital role in detecting and classifying terrorism contents in the web. Accurate web content classification using the computational intelligence and security informatics will increase the opportunities of the early detection of the potential terrorist activities. In this paper, we propose a modified frequency-based term weighting scheme for accurate Dark Web content classification. The proposed term weighting scheme is compared to the common techniques used in text classification such as Term Frequency (TF), Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IFD), and Term Frequency- Relative Frequency (tf.rf), on a dataset selected from Dark Web Portal Forum. The experimental results show that the classification accuracy and other evaluation measures based on the proposed scheme outperforms other term weighting techniques based classification.
Linksextreme Medien
2014 van Hüllen, R. Article
Linksextreme Medien wollen nicht möglichst objektiv über allgemeine Belange berichten. Sie sind auch keine Wirtschaftsunternehmen, die kundenorientiert Leistungen verkaufen wollen. Sie verfolgen politische Ziele - und bekämpfen die politischen Gegner.
Differential Online Exposure to Extremist Content and Political Violence: Testing the Relative Strength of Social Learning and Competing Perspectives
2014 Pauwels, L. and Schils, N. Article
The present study applies Social Learning (Differential Association) Theory to the explanation of political violence, focusing on exposure to extremist content through new social media (NSM) and controlling for key variables derived from rival theories. Data are gathered using (a) a paper-and-pencil study among high school students, and (b) a web survey targeting youths between 16 and 24 years old. A total of 6020 respondents form the dataset. Binary logistic regression is used to analyze the data. Results show that even when controlling for background variables, strain variables, personality characteristics, moral values, and peer influences, the statistical association between measures of extremism through NSM (ENSM) and self-reported political violence remains significant and fairly constant. The most persistent effects are found for those measures where individuals actively seek out extremist content on the Internet, as opposed to passive and accidental encounters using NSM. Furthermore, offline differential associations with racist and delinquent peers are also strongly and directly related to self-reported political violence, as are some mechanisms from rival perspectives. This indicates that political violence can only partially be explained by social learning and suggests that the impact of ENSM is mediated by real-world associations and that the offline world has to be taken into account.
The Hidden Face of Jihadist Internet Forum Management: The Case of Ansar Al Mujahideen
2014 Torres-Soriano, M.R. Article
This article offers a descriptive analysis of the private interactions which took place on the jihadist Internet forum known as Ansar Al Mujahideen between 2008 and 2010. The analysis of the non-visible part of the forum contributes to a more robust underpinning of some current assumptions regarding the jihadist Internet infrastructure and its hierarchical dependence on, and subordination to, formal terrorist organisations and charismatic leaders. In addition, it offers a new perspective on other aspects such as the many conflicts and rivalries between the different forums, the operational constraints caused by the lack of human and material resources, and the considerable vulnerability of the forums to cyber-sabotage and infiltration attempts.
Islamophobia and Twitter: A Typology of Online Hate Against Muslims on Social Media
2014 Awan, I. Journal
The Woolwich attack in May 2013 has led to a spate of hate crimes committed against Muslim communities in the United Kingdom. These incidents include Muslim women being targeted for wearing the headscarf and mosques being vandalized. While street level Islamophobia remains an important area of investigation, an equally disturbing picture is emerging with the rise in online anti-Muslim abuse. This article argues that online Islamophobia must be given the same level of attention as street level Islamophobia. It examines 500 tweets from 100 different Twitter users to examine how Muslims are being viewed and targeted by perpetrators of online abuse via the Twitter search engine, and offers a typology of offender characteristics.
VOX-Pol Summer School Public Lecture: Brown Moses
2014 Higgins, E. Lecture
VOX-Pol Summer School: 'Topics in Violence Online Political Extremism'
Dublin: July 3, 2014
VOX-Pol Inaugural Conference Keynote Lecture: Manuela Caiani
2014 Caiani, M. Lecture
Inaugural VOX-Pol Conference:
'Violent Online Political Extremism: Setting a Research Agenda'
Kings College London: August 28-29, 2014
VOX-Pol Inaugural Conference Keynote Lecture: Thomas Hegghammer
2014 Hegghammer, T. Lecture
Inaugural VOX-Pol Conference:
'Violent Online Political Extremism: Setting a Research Agenda'
Kings College London: August 28-29, 2014