Social Media

This article summarizes a recent paper published in Barbara Perry, Jeff Gruenwald, and Ryan Scrivens’ ‘Right-Wing Extremism in Canada and the United States’ (Palgrave). By Ryan Scrivens, Tiana Gaudette, Maura Conway, and Thomas J. Holt Close attention by journalists and policymakers to the widespread use of the Internet by violent Western (i.e., American, Canadian, Australian,…

By Annelies Pauwels and Maarten van Alstein Polarisation comes in different forms. An important distinction can be made between ideological and affective polarisation. Ideological (or issue-based) polarisation refers to the sharpening of opinions, positions or believes on a specific issue within a group of like-minded people. The group moves from moderate towards more extreme views on the…

By Conor Rees Online extremist activity is not a new phenomenon. Terrorist and Violent Extremist (TVE) use of the Internet has been increasingly well researched since the turn of the millennium. This development of knowledge has led to improved understandings of why TVE’s use the Internet for reasons including recruitment, spreading propaganda, and fundraising (Weiman,…

By Scott DeJong When it comes to understanding the Freedom Convoy and right-wing extremism, play offers a unique entry point. A week into the Freedom Convoy, a new symbol for the occupation graced social media: a bouncy castle. The children’s play feature, at first, seems off-kilter for a movement whose arrival in Ottawa began with…

By Merlyna Lim and Brandon Rigato Weeks after the so-called “freedom convoy” protests ended, a familiar quietness has returned to the streets of downtown Ottawa. No more sounds of blaring horns and people partying into the wee hours. The only remaining visible traces are abandoned trucks in impound yards and barriers on streets. But these too will…

By Eric Heinze Elon Musk is the planet’s number one billionaire. If anyone can turn cyberspace into a heaven – or hell – of free speech “absolutism” via a US$44 billion (£35 billion) Twitter takeover, then surely he’s the man. Right? When free-market elephants like Musk or Jeff Bezos (who bought the Washington Post in 2013) take charge…

This Blog post is the third—the first is HERE and the second HERE—in a four-part series of article summaries from the EU H2020-funded BRaVE project’s  First Monday Special Issue exploring societal resilience to online polarization and extremism. Read the full article HERE [Ed.]. By Amy-Louise Watkin and Maura Conway Discussions already underway amongst not just…

On 2 May 2022, First Monday published a Special Issue exploring societal resilience to online polarisation and extremism, co-edited by Amy-Louise Watkin (VOX-Pol and USW), Vivian Gerrand (Deakin University), and Maura Conway (VOX-Pol and DCU). The seven articles in this special issue were selected from those delivered at a series of workshops undertaken by the…

By Laura Higson-Bliss The UK government’s much anticipated online safety bill has now been released. The bill seeks to impose a duty of care on companies, such as social media platforms, to remove illegal content, and in some cases, “legal but harmful” content, quickly. Failure to comply will result in heavy fines or, in extreme…

By the Institute of Strategic Dialogue Research Team On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) researchers have been tracking and monitoring Salafi-jihadists across social media platforms, who look to radicalise and influence lone actor attacks, for over a year. In doing so, ISD has identified a networked community of…