Social Media

By Sara Solmone Free speech is a key aspect of the internet, but it has become increasingly obvious that many online will push that freedom to extremes, leaving website comment sections, Twitter feeds and Facebook groups awash with racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise unpalatable opinions and vitriolic views, and obscene or shocking images or videos.…

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 Eviane 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 poses…

By Kyle Matthews & Nicolai Pogadl In mid-September 2017 the European Union threatened to fine the Big Tech companies if they did not remove terrorist content within one hour of appearing online. The change came because rising tensions are now developing and being played out on social media platforms. Social conflicts that once built up in…

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 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,…