Freedom of Speech

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 Adam G. Klein When a U.S. senator asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Can you define hate speech?” it was arguably the most important question that social networks face: how to identify extremism inside their communities. Hate crimes in the 21st century follow a familiar pattern in which an online tirade escalates into violent actions.…

By Eviane Cheng Leidig A lacuna exists in the study of the radical right whereby researchers focus disproportionately on developments in Europe and North America. Yet, countries such as India, the Philippines, Turkey, and Brazil highlight how the radical right can operate, and indeed flourish, beyond the West. Our failure to incorporate these non-Western case studies…

By Hoda Hashem The UK government is proposing a new UK counter-terrorism bill. But can it really strike a balance between liberty and security? The UK has a long history of controversial counter-terrorism measures. The most recent is the proposed Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018. Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently denied that the new…

By Tiana Gaudette, Garth Davies, and Ryan Scrivens This blog is Part II of II. Click here for Part I. This blog is the second of a two-part series that was presented at the ‘VOX-Pol Conference – Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet: Present and Future Trends’ in Amsterdam on 20 August 2018. Last week on…

By Tiana Gaudette, Garth Davies, and Ryan Scrivens This blog is the first of a two-part series; it was originally presented at the ‘VOX-Pol Conference – Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet: Present and Future Trends’ in Amsterdam on 20 August 2018. Like other extremist movements, right-wing extremists from across the globe have exploited the power of the…

By Stefan Theil Germany’s infamous network enforcement law – which seeks to more heavily regulate social media – came into force at the start of 2018 to almost unanimous criticism. That is unfortunate, because I believe the law is a risk worth taking and can serve as a good starting point for governments considering tougher regulations…

By Andre Oboler Online bullying, hate and incitement are on the rise, and new approaches are needed to tackle them. As the Australian Senate conducts hearings for its Inquiry into cyberbullying, it should consider a two-pronged approach to combating the problem. First, the government should follow the lead of Germany in imposing financial penalties on major…

Content removal on social media platforms often takes place through semi-automated or automated processes. Algorithms are widely used for content filtering and content removal processes1, including on social media platforms, directly impacting freedom of expression and raising rule of law concerns (e.g. questions of legality, legitimacy and proportionality). While large social media platforms like Google or Facebook have…

By Chris Allen Donald Trump’s decision to retweet a number of videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen – the deputy leader of the far-right street movement Britain First – was as unfounded as it was unexpected. Retweeted without additional comment, the three videos purported to show a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a…