VOX-Pol Participation in Second Meeting of EU Internet Forum

On 8 December, VOX-Pol’s Programme Manager, Lisa McInerney, presented a selection of VOX-Pol research at the second meeting of the EU Internet Forum in Brussels.

The meeting was convened by Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and Mr. Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union. Contributors included, in addition to VOX-Pol, representatives of EU member states, social media companies, and the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN).

The EU Internet Forum was formally established in December 2015, when it also had its first meeting. The Forum has two key objectives, according to the Commission: 1.) to reduce accessibility to terrorist content online; and 2.) to empower civil society partners to increase the volume of effective alternative narratives online. These two objectives formed the basis of discussions at the Forum’s second meeting.

The VOX-Pol research presented at the Forum was as follows:

A briefing, authored by University College London’s Dr. Paul Gill, on ‘Online Behaviours of Convicted Terrorists,’ which reports on two complementary pieces of research on online behaviours of convicted UK terrorists and attack plotters, one large scale and based on open source data (n=223) and another smaller scale and based on closed sources (n=49), that build significantly upon the current knowledge base.

The open source analysis was first published as an open access VOX-Pol report entitled What are the Roles of the Internet in Terrorism? Measuring Online Behaviours of Convicted UK Terrorists in November 2015. A revised version of that report will appear under the title ‘Terrorist Use of the Internet by the Numbers: Quantifying Behaviors, Patterns and Processes’ in the scholarly journal Criminology and Public Policy in 2017. The closed source analysis will be published by VOX-Pol as an open access report, also in 2017.

A draft report entitled ‘Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online in 2016: The Year in Review,’ authored by VOX-Pol’s Coordinator, Prof. Maura Conway (Dublin City University), was also presented. This draft report is in the process of being updated further and extended to cover the full 12-months of 2016, with the final version to be published as an open access VOX-Pol report in January 2017.

The final item of VOX-Pol research presented at last Thursday’s event was a case study of live-streaming of terrorist attacks, including consideration of the potential future live video streaming of an attack by the attacker(s). A lengthier version of this analysis will also appear as an open access VOX-Pol report in 2017.

More information:

The European Commission’s 8 December press release titled ‘EU Internet Forum: A Major Step Forward in Curbing Terrorist Content on the Internet’ is available HERE.

Commissioner King’s remarks at a joint press point with Commissioner Avramopoulos directly in advance of the Forum are HERE.