Violent Online Political Extremism

By Luke Munn “From where did you receive/research/develop your beliefs? The Internet, of course.” ~ Brenton Tarrant On Friday, March 15th 2019, at 1:40pm, Brenton Tarrant walked into the first of two mosques in central Christchurch and began shooting indiscriminately, leading to the deaths of 50 people. Already there has been speculation about what drove…

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.…

VOX-Pol contributed to the inaugural Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP) campaigns event in Brussels this week. We therefore thought we’d share some insights from a previous RAN event focused on online CVE. [Ed.] Introduction It is an essential part of extremist propaganda and outreach to not only communicate their messages to…

By  Jennifer Yang Hui In the wake of high-profile terrorist activities in Indonesia, social media’s role in violent extremism is once again under scrutiny. The 36-hour standoff on 8 May 2018 between inmates linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS) and prison officers at Mako Brimob (the detention centre of the Indonesian National Police Mobile…

By Sam Jackson For years, researchers studying online political extremism have used computational tools to collect large amounts of data from social media, most often from Twitter. Two main logics guide these data collections: they can be built around users (e.g., collecting all tweets sent by given accounts) or they can be built around vocabulary (e.g.,…

Welcome to Vol. 5 Iss. 3 of the VOX-Pol Newsletter. If you have colleagues or friends who may be interested in the content of our newsletter, or any events or research carried out by VOX-Pol, please forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe via our website. In particular, please update any interested colleagues about…

We’re delighted to welcome J.M. Berger on board as a VOX-Pol Research Fellow. We’re also very pleased to announce that J.M. will launch his new book, Extremism (MIT Press), at a reception during our VOX-Pol conference in Amsterdam  on 22 – 21 August, 2018.  J.M.’s prior publications include, with Jonathon Morgan, The ISIS Twitter Census (2015), with Jessica Stern, ISIS:…

The second conference of Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) Advisory Group took place at their headquarter’s in The Hague on 17 – 18 April. VOX-Pol Coordinator Prof. Maura Conway presented new research on ‘The Jihadi Online Ecology (Beyond ISIS)’ at the conference, which attracted more than 100 participants from a diverse range of backgrounds,…

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…

This is the second in a two-part series; part one is HERE. By Anne Speckhard & Ardian Shajkovci Last week’s Blog post described ICVSE’s efforts directing counter narratives into the ISIS-dominated Internet space. This post discusses the ethics of attempting such interventions. As in all our work, our research ethics for Internet interventions with ISIS…