Is the Internet an Incubator for Radicalisation

This blog post explores the reasons why some online ideological groups take action while others do not and focuses on to what extent the online communications of ideological groups contribute to direct collective action.

In order to address this question, we examined a number of online groups using a variety of criteria, including the way they express their group identity online, the narratives they use to imbue their ideologies with legitimacy, and the goals or actions they advocate. We compared these criteria to the actions that the groups have taken, and goals they accomplished.

Our research also explores communication processes and the use of persuasive narratives in an online setting through a number of case studies. These observations provide insight into the decision-making of groups in an online setting and the ways that narrative and discourse are used to justify taking certain actions.

We discuss here findings from two of these case studies, on the American Resistance Movement (ARM), an online community related to the American Patriot movement and the online hacktivist group Anonymous.

We will set out how the concepts of ideology and identity impact on each case, how these relate to the types of actions advocated and taken, and, briefly, the differing effect of anonymity.

Tags: Extreme Right, Narratives