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 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.
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 Radicalization Risks Of GPT-3 And Advanced Neural Language Models
2020 McGuffie, K. and Newhouse, A. Report
In 2020, OpenAI developed GPT-3, a neural language model that is capable of sophisticated natural language generation and completion of tasks like classification, question-answering, and summarization. While OpenAI has not opensourced the model’s code or pre-trained weights at the time of writing, it has built an API to experiment with the model’s capacity. The Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC) evaluated the GPT-3 API for the risk of weaponization by extremists who may attempt to use GPT-3 or hypothetical unregulated models to amplify their ideologies and recruit to their communities.
Regulating Social Media: The Fight Over Section 230 — and Beyond
2020 Barrett' P.M. Report
There are increasing calls to curtail or revoke Section 230, a 1996 law that protects internet companies from most lawsuits related to user-generated content. Critics of Section 230 say it discourages vigilant self-regulation. Proponents counter that the law has fostered free expression and innovation. Our report concludes that Section 230 ought to be preserved but significantly amended.
Decoding Hate: Using Experimental Text Analysis to Classify Terrorist Content
2020 Alrhmoun, A., Maher, S. and Winter, C. Report
This paper uses automated text analysis – the process by which unstructured text is extracted, organised and processed into a meaningful format – to develop tools capable of analysing
Islamic State (IS) propaganda at scale. Although we have used a static archive of IS material, the underlying principle is that these techniques can be deployed against content produced by any number of violent extremist movements in real‑time. This study therefore aims to complement work that looks at technology‑driven strategies employed by social media, video‑hosting and file‑sharing platforms to tackle violent extremist content disseminators.
Stop the virus of disinformation: the risk of malicious use of social media during COVID-19 and the technology options to fight it
2020 United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) Report
This report describes how terrorist, violent extremist and organized criminal groups are trying to take advantage of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to expand their activities and jeopardize the efficacy and credibility of response measures by governments.
Status quo und Massnahmen zu rassistischer Hassrede im Internet: Übersicht und Empfehlungen
2020 Stahel, L. Report
Rassistische Hassrede im Internet: Wie soll die Schweiz in Zukunft damit umgehen? Der vorliegende Bericht, welchen die Fachstelle für Rassismusbekämpfung (FRB) in Auftrag gegeben hat, liefert dazu einen Beitrag. Er beinhaltet eine kritische Zusammenfassung der Datenlage, einen Einblick in die digitale Umwelt und egünstigenden Kommunikationsbedingungen rassistischer Online-Hassrede sowie einen Überblick zu bestehenden Gegenmassnahmen in der Schweiz und im Ausland. Schliesslich werden die Herausforderungen und Anliegen von Schweizer Verwaltungsstellen, Beratungsstellen und privaten Organisationen identifiziert und Handlungsempfehlungen für die StahelSchweiz abgegeben.
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.
Network-Enabled Anarchy: How Militant Anarcho-Socialist Networks Use Social Media to Instigate Widespread Violence Against Political Opponents and Law Enforcement
2020 Finkelstein, J., Goldenberg, A., Stevens, S., Jussim, L., Farmer, J., Donohue, J.K. and Paresky, P. Report
Our primary research question was whether memes and codewords, private or fringe online forums, and hybrid real-world/online militia—the three characteristic tactics that support outbreaks of extremist violence for both Jihadi and Boogaloo extremism—are also prevalent in anti-fascist and anarcho-socialist groups. To analyze the use and prevalence of memes and other coded language and activity, we performed analyses on over ten million social media comments ranging from mainstream platforms (such as Twitter) to fringe online forums on Reddit. Throughout the research, we examined whether the same extremist themes and actions that are characteristic of both Jihadi and Boogaloo extremists—themes such as violent revolution, martyrdom, and having a utopian narrative, and actions such as terror attacks—are also found in extremist groups espousing anti-fascism and anarcho-socialism.
4chan & 8chan embeddings
2020 Voué, P., De Smedt, T. and De Pauw, G. Report
We have collected over 30M messages from the publicly available /pol/ message boards on 4chan and 8chan, and compiled them into a model of toxic language use. The trained word embeddings (±0.4GB) are released for free and may be useful for further study on toxic discourse or to boost hate speech detection systems: textgain.com/8chan.
Artificial Intelligence and Countering Violent Extremism: A Primer
2020 Schroeter, M. Report
Radicalisation can take place offline as well as online. To what extent the internet plays a role remains contested. Doubtless, there are radical and extreme communities online. This report looked into the ability of artificial intelligence (AI) applications to contribute to countering radicalisation. Mapping the possibilities and limitations of this technology in its various forms, the report aims to support decision‑makers and experts navigate the noise, leading to informed decisions unswayed by the current hype.
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 | 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 | 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.