By Pamela Ligouri Bunker and Robert J. Bunker
The 2019 Terrorism and Social Media (TASM) Conference took place on 25 and 26 June 2019 at Swansea University Bay Campus, Wales, United Kingdom. The conference was organised by Swansea University’s Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law and its Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC), with the support of the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence. It brought together a broad range of researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners from a total of 23 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, France, Holland, Poland, Israel, and Ukraine. It featured three keynote presentations and hosted twenty-five panels with more than seventy-four other speakers over six breakout session sequences each lasting one and one-half hours over the two-day event. The conference utilised the Twitterhashtag: #TASMConf for tweets related to its activities. A selection of these tweets can be viewed here.
Keynotes were provided via the a conversation with the Global Internet Forum to CounterTerrorism (GIFCT) panel (Dr. William McCants—Google, Dr. Erin Marie Saltman—Facebook, and Adam Hadley—Tech Against Terrorism) along with traditional presentations provided by VOX-Pol Research Fellow J.M. Berger, author of Extremism (The MIT Press, 2018), and Dr. Krisztina Huszti-Orban, adjunct professor of law and research fellow at the Human Rights Center of the University of Minnesota.
An after dinner speech by Lord Alexander Carlile, former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation for the UK from 2001-2011, was also provided. Additional special elements of the conference were a pre-conference event “Advancing Collaborative Research and Understanding of Online Counterterrorism: An Evening with Facebook” and the post-conference “TASM Sandpit: An opportunity to form a team and secure funding for a research project,” supported by Swansea University’s CHERISH-Digital Economy Centre and Facebook.