Online Jihadist Propaganda Dissemination Strategies
March 5, 2024
It is well established that jihadist groups and their supporters post URLs on online platforms to outlink to items of propaganda stored on other platforms. Industry initiatives – such as Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism’s inclusion of URLs in its hash-sharing database, and Tech Against Terrorism’s Terrorist Content Analytics Platform – have sought to ...
The Last Twitter Census
January 23, 2024
This report compares two large random samples of Twitter accounts that tweet in English: one taken just before Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022, and one taken three months later, in January 2023. It also examines several related datasets collected during the period following the acquisition, a period in which, the study found, new ...
The effects of social media on domestic terrorism
January 13, 2024
Much qualitative research has drawn an association between social media and domestic terrorism, with the studies reaching different conclusions. However, few empirical studies have evaluated whether the surge in social media participation affects domestic terrorist events. Controlling for common explanations in the literature, we conduct a cross-national, time-series analysis of up to 151 countries from ...
A community resilience linguistic framework for risk assessment: using second order moral foundations and emotion on social media
January 13, 2024
Mainstream risk assessment frameworks such as TRAP-18, ERG22+, VERA-2R, and RADAR largely use Structured Professional Judgement to map individuals against four critical factors; ideology, affiliation, grievance, and moral emotions. However, the growing use of online communication platforms by extremists presents a series of opportunities to complement or extend existing risk assessment frameworks. Here, we examine ...
Online Extremism and Terrorism Researchers’ Security, Safety, and Resilience: Findings from the Field
January 3, 2024
VOX-Pol’s new report presents findings from the REASSURE (Researcher, Security, Safety, and Resilience) project’s in-depth interviews with 39 online extremism and terrorism researchers. Based at universities, research institutes, and think tanks in Europe and North America, the interviewees studied mainly, albeit not exclusively, far-right and violent jihadist online activity. The report catalogues for the first ...
The ‘First Person Shooter’ Perspective: A Different View on First Person Shooters, Gamification, and First Person Terrorist Propaganda
September 18, 2023
During the 2019 Christchurch attack, the perpetrator livestreamed footage from a helmet-mounted camera. The aesthetic similarity of the attack footage to first-person shooter (FPS) videogames has led to speculation that this might have somehow ‘gamified’ the attack. Generally, the argument for this is that the attack footage (1) imitates or resembles FPS games, gamifying attacks ...
Terror Through The Looking Glass Information Orientations And The Lens Of Web Search Engines
September 18, 2023
Researchers and pundits alike regularly describe terrorism as being a theatrical performance that depends on publicity to build recognition, garner attention and command legitimation. Clearly, the mechanical contours of the information environment matter when it comes to determining the opportunities and challenges for both terrorist and counterterrorist success. This article addresses arguably the most singularly ...
The virtual “Caliphate” strikes back? Mapping the Islamic State’s information ecosystem on the surface web
September 18, 2023
This study maps the surface web information ecosystem exploited by the Islamic State (IS) and its followers between December 2020 and June 2021. Open-source intelligence investigation allowed a massive online presence of Daesh, manifested by hundreds of communication channels, to be detected. Its propaganda dissemination was founded mainly on one “central” Arabic domain, linked to ...
Online Activities and Extremist Attitudes in Adolescence: An Empirical Analysis with a Gender Differentiation
September 18, 2023
Radicalization research is dedicated to analyzing factors related to radicalization processes, which in turn can lead to extremism. One factor is frequently discussed: the role of the Internet. This paper examines the relationship between active and passive online activities, including consumption, networking, and posting, and extremist attitudes in the field of Islamism and right-wing extremism ...
Exploring the Extent to Which Extremism and Terrorism Have Changed Since the Advent of the Internet
September 18, 2023
This review will examine the academic literature over which role the internet has in the evolution of extremism and terrorism since its advent. It will compare two different approaches. The first claims that the internet is a major factor that facilitates ideas and narratives, which can lead to the rise of extremism and terrorism. The ...