The VOX-Pol Blog was launched in October 2014 and turned seven years old this month. To celebrate this, VOX-Pol has been tweeting the all-time most-read posts. The all-time top five are:
5. The Far Right Online: An Overview of Recent Studies by Reem Ahmed and Daniela Pisoiu, published 13 Nov 2019
This Blog post is an excerpted chapter from the VOX-Pol Report How Extreme is the European Far-Right? Investigating Overlaps in the German Far-Right Scene on Twitter, available online in both English and German.
4. Online Jihadi Instructional Content: IS’s Rumiyah in 2017 by Maura Conway and Michael Courtney, published 21 Feb 2018
Another post which excerpts a VOX-Pol report, in this case, an edited version of pages 6 – 7 of VOX-Pol’s Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online in 2017: The Year in Review. The piece addresses attack-related information, including instructional content, contained in the Islamic State’s Rumiyah magazine in the period December 2016 – November 2017.
3. Violent Misogyny, Mass Murder and Suicide: It’s Time to Save Incels from Themselves by Moonshot, published 9 Oct 2019
In third place is a sensitive analysis of incel culture from Moonshot. This was the first Blog post that VOX-Pol published on the topic of incels. It has since been followed by The National Security Implications of Extreme Misogyny in April 2020, ‘Incel’ Violence Is a Form of Extremism. It’s Time We Treated It as a Security Threat in October 2020, and most recently, Incel Culture: What We’ve Learned From Investigating Plymouth Attacker’s Digital Footprint in September 2021.
2. Is ISIS Dead or Alive? by Moign Khawaja, published 4 Mar 2020
Moign Khawaja’s analysis of ISIS activities was the highest read blog post of 2020. The article, originally posted on RTÉ Brainstorm, analyses the so-called Islamic State’s online, offline and possible future activities.
1. Gab.com: The Pro-Trump Alternative to Social Media by Jordan McSwiney and Greta Jasser, published 25 Nov 2020
The most-read article of 2021 received a large increase in views after the events at Capitol Hill on 6 January. It was originally published in the October 2020 edition of e-Extreme, the newsletter of the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Extremism & Democracy.
The articles in the top five examine social media platforms and terrorist content online. The topics of violent jihadism, the far right, and incels are represented. The posts were published in 2018, 2019, and 2020 which reflects the increase in readership over time.
At the outset, the aim of the VOX-Pol Blog was to publish short-form original research directly related to violent online political extremism and/or violent online radicalisation. A thematic analysis of the Blog’s first seven years is forthcoming.
The Blog publishes weekly on Wednesdays and takes a break in August, when we share the most-read of the previous year. Click to see the most-read posts of the year from 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018.