Countering violent extremism using social media and preventing implementable strategies for Bangladesh

Globally, more than 85% of youth use social media daily in the medium of Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc., which is more than 70% for Bangladesh. The young population of Bangladesh is rapidly embracing social media through the internet and afflicted with the malaise of countering violent extremism (CVE), often through Facebook. Given the increasing connectedness that the internet and social media offer, it is crucial that the fight against CVE shift to the digital space. Extremists are increasingly adopting novel ways and means based on technology to draw unsuspecting youth to their cause. It is essential to establish effective implementable strategies to stop the CVE activities using social media in Bangladesh. This study aims to identify existing initiatives globally in the space of disruptive online technologies that have yielded some success in preventing CVE. Various publications such as journal and news articles, TV news, and blogs have been used as data sources for this study. Also, fifteen expert interviews have been conducted to identify the most effective strategies for CVE in Bangladesh. Through the content analysis, the study highlights successful efforts and explores technology-based initiatives that can be deployed in Bangladesh to minimize the impact of VE activities through online technology. Finally, recommendations for strategies to restrict VE activities through technologies have been suggested that can be potentially implemented by the Bangladesh government by coordinating with international donor agencies and CVE practitioners. The research output recommends that Bangladesh and other less developed countries can concurrently deal with CVE by successfully using cutting-edge online/digital technologies.

Tags: Bangladesh, CVE, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube