Social Media

By Laura Jakli and Paul Gill This blog post summarises the preliminary results of a VOX-Pol supported study that estimates the effects of social media echo chambers on political polarisation. Social Media and Political Polarisation Countless news articles and studies argue that social media exacerbates political polarisation and distorts the political news landscape. The general argument put…

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 William Allchorn The 9th of June saw one of the most prominent far-right mobilisations of the year. Assembling in Trafalgar Square, hundreds of demonstrators turned out to protest the arrest and imprisonment of former English Defence League (EDL) leader, Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley Lennon), for contempt of court after he broadcast live…

On 4-7 April, VOX-Pol researchers participated in the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, in San Francisco, California. The ISA is one of the oldest interdisciplinary associations dedicated to understanding international, transnational and global affairs, with more than seven thousand members worldwide. Whilst topics covered at the conference are wide-ranging, there are always a large number of panels…

Attempts to rein in the internet industry in democratic countries will show who really is in charge. by Judy Dempsey Reposted with permission from Carnegie Europe On January 1, a new German law aimed at reining in social media came into force. Called the Network Enforcement Act, or “NetzDG”, social media companies from Facebook and Twitter, to YouTube, Instagram,…

By Dia Kayyali and Raja Althaibani So much of Syria’s history has been purposefully erased by ISIS in recent years. And now, we’re seeing another erasure of history– this time on YouTube. Thousands of videos showing human rights abuses in Syria, as well as the channels that feature these videos, are being removed by YouTube.…

VOX-Pol convened an invitation-only workshop titled ‘Countering Violent Extremism Online and the Impact on Civil Liberties’ Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University on 23 – 24 October 2017. The purpose of the workshop was to explore the challenges and opportunities facing actors engaged in countering violent extremism online, particularly the impact of content…

By Laurence Bindner, Raphael Gluck This article was originally published in French on Ultima Ratio. Since partly going underground in the deep-web, ISIS exerts continuous pressure to make its propaganda surface on the public web. Adapting constantly to ever more active censorship, ISIS uses the various web platforms in an opportunistic and agile way. Therefore,…

Since late 2016, researchers came to acknowledge both ISIS’ territorial decline and much reduced visibility on mainstream social media networks. They note that its online community of supporters have migrated to encrypted communication channels and that its territory in the Levant has shrunk considerably, which—according to a recent ICSR estimate—impacted on the organisation’s financial resources.…