The Semiotics of Violent Jihadist Propaganda: The Message and the Channel
September 30, 2015
by Massimo Leone On the one hand, terrorism is the antithesis of communication. It does not aim at transmitting any message to its victims, but at annihilating them. On the other hand, yet, terrorism is extremely powerful communication for those who witness the tragedy, directly or through the media, and are either terrified or fascinated ...
Monitoring Racist and Xenophobic Extremism to Counter Hate Speech Online: Ethical Dilemmas and Methods of a Preventive Approach
September 23, 2015
by Andrea Cerase, Elena D’Angelo and Claudia Santoro The rise of racism in Europe In recent years online racism has seen a quick and serious growth in many European and non-European countries, till to become a worrying global phenomenon.(1) One of the most striking examples of such process is the rise of White Supremacist Movements online. Their strategy ...
The Terror You Know, the Terror You Don’t – How Extremism Has Gone Digital Since 7/7
September 16, 2015
by Alex Krasodomski-Jones A decade after 7/7, the War on Terror rumbles on. Ten years ago, it was Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein: a battle against dictators and super-terrorists responsible for thousands of deaths in the West and at home. Today it is IS, though the shaky narrative of good versus evil is looking ever-more ...
A “Radical Sociability”: In Defence of an Online/Offline Multidimensional Approach to Radicalisation
September 9, 2015
by Benjamin Ducol Beyond a dichotomic view of radicalisation in the digital era The dichotomisation of “virtual” versus “real world” is one of the major pitfalls in current studies of radicalisation in the digital era. In many cases, scholars tend to conceptualise virtual spaces as autonomous from what actually happens in the “real world” and ...
Using Twitter as a Data Source: An Overview of Current Social Media Research Tools
September 2, 2015
by Wasim Ahmed I have a social media research blog where I find and write about tools that can be used to capture and analyse data from social media platforms. My PhD looks at Twitter data for health, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I am increasingly asked why I am looking at Twitter, ...
Drawing the Line Between Free Speech and Online Radicalisation
July 29, 2015
by Jacob Mchangama The global spate of terrorist attacks has brought the phenomenon of online radicalisation to the forefront. Governments and intelligence services warn that extremist groups use social media to recruit new adherents and potential terrorists. From the perspective of human rights, this raises a question – where should the line be drawn between ...
Pop Terrorism: ISIS’ Media Campaign
July 22, 2015
By Sam Garin In a video entitled “There is no Life without Jihad,” young men shaded by verdant palm trees empathetically assure their audience that they understand their struggle as Muslims in a western country. The video shows English-speaking members of the Islamic State give calm, earnest testimonies urging Muslims in the West to join the terrorist ...
Extremist Forums Provide Digital OPSEC Training
July 15, 2015
by Aaron Brantly and Muhammad al-`Ubaydi The average netizen has terrible digital hygiene. We click on random links, open emails from unknown individuals, use public WiFi hotspots, leave computers and devices unsecured, and often do not even use basic anti-virus packages. Most Chief Information Systems Officers’ largest problem is not a talented nation state, but ...
IS’ Social Media Strategy Leverages Convergence Culture
July 8, 2015
by Yannick Veilleux-Lepage Although there is nothing new in violent extremist groups quickly adopting new technology, what has hardly any precedent is the breadth of the communication strategy implemented by IS. Not only does IS use new technology to create the content which it releases, it also utilizes new technologies innovatively in the dissemination of ...
Review: Terrorism in Cyberspace: The Next Generation
July 1, 2015
By Joshua Sinai In the United States, Canada and Western Europe, dozens of al Qaeda, al-Shabab- and ISIS-related terrorist plots have been thwarted by government counterterrorism agencies through electronic surveillance of terrorist operatives’ suspicious activities on the Internet. While their activities were likely also monitored “on the ground,” the fact that terrorists of all extremist ...