Down the (White) Rabbit Hole: The Extreme Right and Online Recommender Systems
December 1, 2014
by Derek O’Callaghan YouTube’s status as the most popular video sharing platform means that it is especially useful to political extremists in their efforts to influence a wide audience. We often see links to associated videos and channels on YouTube being propagated on other social media platforms such as Twitter. In this analysis, we were ...
In the Wake of Lee Rigby Inquiry, Remember Radicalisation and Terrorism are not the Same
November 27, 2014
by Matthew Francis A parliamentary inquiry has cleared MI5 of failing to prevent the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013. This despite the fact that his killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were both subjects of previous investigations by the security services – investigations which showed that both men had been radicalised. Inevitably this conclusion ...
Counterterrorism Messaging Needs To Move From State to CIA
November 17, 2014
by Philip Seib The State Department is trying hard to counter online propaganda from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The information battleground includes Twitter and video messages, terrain that ISIL knows well. In addition to having too little money and too few people, the department is forced to conform to federal rules requiring that its ...
Coming Face to Face With the New Normal in Internet Research
November 10, 2014
by Elizabeth Buchanan When news of the Facebook contagion study hit, I was presenting a session on research ethics to the VOX-Pol summer school at Dublin City University. I had intended to discuss the Belfast Project as an example of social, behavioural, and educational research gone badly—indeed, this project had international intrigue, raised serious issues ...
Review: Jihadi Culture on the World Wide Web
November 3, 2014
by Anne Stenersen In Jihadi Culture on the World Wide Web, Gilbert Ramsay challenges existing assumptions about the phenomenon of ‘online jihadism’. He argues that a clear distinction be drawn between the offline and online activities of al-Qaida’s supporters. Consumption of ‘jihadi’ content online is not necessarily a step towards engagement in real-world violence, but a cultural ...
The Online Life of a Modern Terrorist: Anders Behring Breivik’s Use of the Internet
October 28, 2014
Did the Internet play a decisive role in Anders Behring Breivik’s violent radicalisation? In a recent study of Breivik’s online activities, I went through his posts on various message boards between 2002 and 2011, in addition to a collection of more than 7,000 of his private e-mails forwarded by Norwegian hackers to a Norwegian journalist ...
Blocking Islamic State’s Online Propaganda is the Wrong Answer to the Wrong Problem
October 23, 2014
by Cristina Archetti ISIS is winning the propaganda war, it’s been said, and top brass from the European Commission, EU member state governments, and representatives of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft have met to discuss what to do about extremist online content. They have yet to announce their decision, but it’s likely to involve some form ...