Social Media

Incels are a danger to society and to themselves. Technology has made the problem worse, but it can also help fix it. Involuntary celibates, or incels, believe that a socio-genetic conspiracy theory is preventing them from having sexual relationships with women. Denied their right to sex because society has deemed them unworthy, some of their…

By Linda Schlegel The rise of social media usage as an everyday activity for millions of citizens has been accompanied by a discussion about the dangers of this development. Echo chambers or “filter bubbles” are often mentioned in this regard.[1] Both concepts refer to the possibility that social media users only engage with content that…

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…

By Philippa Smith When it comes to debates about free speech that needs to be protected and hate speech that needs to be legislated, the idiom of “drawing the line” is constantly referenced by politicians, journalists and academics. It has surfaced again as New Zealanders struggle to comprehend the abhorrence of the Christchurch terror attack and…

By Martin Innes, Helen Innes, and Diyana Dobreva Terrorist attacks are fundamentally designed to ‘terrorise, polarise and mobilise’ different segments of the public. That this is so was tragically underscored by the recent events in New Zealand, where the perpetrator very obviously and self-consciously prepared a messaging campaign to accompany his acts of violence. Recognising these…

By Mike Caulfield Sam prides himself on questioning conventional wisdom and subjecting claims to intellectual scrutiny. For kids today, that means Googling stuff. One might think these searches would turn up a variety of perspectives, including at least a few compelling counterarguments. One would be wrong. The Google searches flooded his developing brain with endless…

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and French President Macron are co-hosting a meeting in Paris today to discuss a New Zealand-spearheaded plan, named the “Christchurch Call,” to eliminate violent extremist and terrorist content from the Internet. The below post summarises the tech sector’s response(s) to the exploitation of their services by the Christchurch terrorist’s sympathisers…

This Blog post is a lightly edited version of a report prepared by the EU Internet Referral Unit in Europol and circulated to law enforcement agencies and member states in October 2018. It is appearing here publicly for the first time, at the request of Europol. [Ed.] Key Takeaways Non-violent material is integral to terrorists’ propaganda…

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 Nancy Jamal In the aftermath of the Christchurch attack, attention has been drawn to the role of mass media in the aftermath of such attacks, including by the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer, Neil Basu. Last week’s Blog post also addressed responsible reporting, as does Virginie Andre’s report Understanding the Impact of Terrorist Event Reporting on Countering…