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By Stuart M Bender The shocking mass-shooting in Christchurch on 15 March was notable for using livestreaming video technology to broadcast horrific first-person footage of the shooting on social media. The perpetrator of this week’s attack on a California synagogue also allegedly planned to livestream the latter, except this did not materialise The use of social media technology…

By Ross Frenett Introduction The murder of Lyra McKee on Good Friday has shone a spotlight on an often under-reported and under-analysed form of violent extremism, violent dissident republicanism (VDR).  McKee’s murder was not an aberration; in the past number of years, VDR groups have killed two soldiers, two Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)…

By Dr Matteo Vergani The Christchurch terror attack conducted by Brenton Tarrant highlights the urgent need to break the destructive synergy between media reporting and terrorist messaging. Tarrant planned a careful media strategy. He exploited social media, like many al-Qaeda and ISIS-inspired terrorists before him, live-streaming his attack and uploading a manifesto in the expectation that…

By Nathan Shea The first news that militants had taken to the streets of the Islamic City of Marawi on May 23, 2017, came from Facebook. Pictures of masked men carrying assault rifles and waving the black flag of the Islamic State were swirling across social media well before Philippine and international news channels picked…

By Elnura Alkanova Since the 2000s, social networks have been widely used both as platform for like-minded users and an instrument for spreading information and ideas. But the rapid dissemination of facts and opinions also results in an uncontrollable stream of information. As a result, we are witnessing an increasing number of posts with negative content…

By Jade Hutchinson The ‘Right’ Kind of Dogma Radical-right groups harness online platforms to disseminate dogmas against the ‘Other’. In response to an influx of foreign migrants, the concatenation of Islamist terrorism and record levels of distrust in government institutions, the radical-right is invigorated by an aggressive anti-‘Other’ sentiment. As the source of social anxiety and…

By Anne Speckhard, Ardian Shajkovci & Lorand Bodo This blog post synopsises a study that attempted to intervene with over fifty English-speaking Facebook accounts endorsing, promoting, and following ISIS. Methodology and Research Design For this study, several anonymized Facebook accounts were used to identify English-speaking radicalized Facebook profiles as our target for an online counter-narrative intervention.…

By Marco Bastos and Shawn T. Walker Facebook recently announced dramatic data access restrictions on its app and website. The company framed the lockdown as an attempt to protect user information, in response to the public outcry following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But the decision is in line with growing restrictions imposed on researchers studying…

By Shelley Hepworth A group of 20 academics based at universities around the world have written an open letter to Facebook, calling on the company to rethink how it engages with the research community. In the wake of recent controversies over privacy, Facebook recently announced restrictions to third-party access to public user data via its Application…

We’re at Swansea University this week for a joint workshop with The Cyberterrorism Project on ‘The Ethics of Internet-mediated Terrorism Research,’ so we thought we’d post a Blog on ethics-related issues. [Ed.] By Natasha Whiteman When the Facebook data of 50m users was collected by Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan, his actions reportedly came to the…