Welcome to Volume 9, Issue 4 of the VOX-Pol Newsletter.
RESEARCHERS: THE REASSURE PROJECT WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Two years ago, the REASSURE (Researcher Security, Safety and Resilience) project team began documenting the experiences of academic researchers of online extremism and terrorism.
Their report on online extremism and terrorism researchers’ security, safety, and resilience will appear on the VOX-Pol website in January 2023. The report is a first step in reducing harms to online extremism and terrorism researchers arising out of their work.
As regards next steps, we are interested in talking to those professionally tasked in relation to online extremism and terrorism, and adjacent harmful content types, about what has worked for them, in terms of harm prevention. If you would like to contribute, please drop us a line at email@example.com.
VOX-Pol GUEST LECTURE SERIES NOW ON YOUTUBE
VOX-Pol WEBINARS: WATCH ONLINE
VOX-Pol hosted a public webinar on 24 October 2022, on the topic of the normalisation of extremist subcultures. If you missed it you can view it now on the VOX-Pol YouTube Channel. The focus of the workshop was individuals’ experiences of, and engagement with, extremist ideas and beliefs – both jihadist and far-right – in a variety of different settings. Panellists explored the role of video games, music, humour and the occult in normalising extremism and assessed the extent to which this plays a role in radicalisation trajectories and desensitises individuals to violence. The reverse process – in which extremist actors adopt mainstream culture to expound their message – was also considered. The event was hosted by VOX-Pol coordinator Stuart Macdonald.
RECENT VOX-Pol PUBLICATIONS
Two articles by VOX-Pol members have recently been published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. The article The Role of Financial Technologies in US-Based ISIS Terror Plots by Joe Whittaker analyses how Islamic State actors move money and make purchases, as well as whether the use of technology affects success.
Two Sides of the Same Coin? A Largescale Comparative Analysis of Extreme Right and Jihadi Online Text(s) describes and discusses a comparative semiotic analysis of online text collected from eight extreme right websites and four violent Jihadi groups’ online magazines. It is authored by VOX-Pol Fellows and members: Weeda Mehran, Stephen Herron, Ben Miller, Anthony F. Lemieux, and Maura Conway.
IN THE MEDIA
- Twitter-watcher claims 12k accounts revived as Musk’s drive for free speech continues, Cybernews, 2 December 2022.
- A far-right extremism expert on the conviction of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, NPR, 30 November 2022.
- Mapping the most influential Twitter accounts during COP26, Carbon Brief, 1 November 2022.
- Taking the Pelosi Attack Seriously, Lawfare Blog, 1 November 2022.
- Gendered Food Insecurity: The Case of Afghanistan, The Elephant, 28 October 2022.
- Hundreds of Massachusetts residents joined the extremist Oath Keepers. Today, many are distancing themselves, The Boston Globe, 10 October 2022.