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 ...
Toward an Ethical Framework for Countering Extremist Propaganda Online
September 18, 2023
In recent years, extremists have increasingly turned to online spaces to distribute propaganda and as a recruitment tool. While there is a clear need for governments and social media companies to respond to these efforts, such responses also bring with them a set of ethical challenges. This paper provides an ethical analysis of key policy ...
Considering the Ethics of Big Data Research: A Case of Twitter and ISIS/ISIL
September 18, 2023
This is a formal commentary, responding to Matthew Curran Benigni, Kenneth Joseph, and Kathleen Carley’s contribution, “Online extremism and the communities that sustain it: Detecting the ISIS supporting community on Twitter”. This brief review reflects on the ethics of big data research methodologies, and how novel methods complicate long-standing principles of research ethics. Specifically, the ...
The Legal Response Of Western Democracies To Online Terrorism And Extremism
September 18, 2023
Extremists and terrorists have found the online sphere, and specifically its social networks, to be an efficient tool for advancing their methods and political needs. The legal responses to the resulting threats from this online activity vary from country to country. The immense importance of the Internet in the everyday life of billions of people ...
Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and the Internet: Free Speech Considerations
September 18, 2023
Recent acts of terrorism and hate crimes have prompted a renewed focus on the possible links between internet content and offline violence. While some have focused on the role that social media companies play in moderating user-generated content, others have called for Congress to pass laws regulating online content promoting terrorism or violence. Proposals related ...
Extreme Digital Speech: Contexts, Responses and Solutions
September 18, 2023
Extreme digital speech (EDS) is an emerging challenge that requires co-ordination between governments, civil society and the private sector. In this report, a range of experts on countering extremism consider the challenges that EDS presents to these stakeholders, the impact that EDS has and the responses taken by these actors to counter it. By focusing ...
Reconciling Impact And Ethics: An Ethnography of Research in Violent Online Political Extremism
September 18, 2023
Gathering empirical evidence from interviews and focus groups, this study highlights some of the ethical dilemmas faced by the academic community tasked with developing new methodological tools and conceptual frameworks for the study of violent online political extremism. At the same time, it examines how academics position themselves in relation to a broad range of ...
The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Tackling Terrorism online
September 18, 2023
Gatekeeping is defined as the work of third parties “who are able to disrupt misconduct by withholding their cooperation from wrongdoers.”1 Internet intermediaries need to be far more proactive as gatekeepers than they are now. Socially responsible measures can prevent the translation of violent thoughts into violent actions. Designated monitoring mechanisms can potentially prevent such ...
Private Sector Engagement in Responding to the Use of the Internet and ICT for Terrorist Purposes
September 18, 2023
On the one hand, the companies in question feel a business incentive to create a digital environment where their users feel safe, and are increasingly compelled by governments to cooperate in blocking, filtering, countering or removing content or accounts on the grounds of public safety or national security concerns. In addition, users expect the companies ...
Extremist Content and the ICT Sector: A Global Network Initiative Policy Brief
September 18, 2023
The role of information and communication technology (ICT) companies in responding to alleged terrorist or extremist content has become one of the most challenging issues for freedom of expression and privacy online. In July 2015, GNI launched a policy dialogue to explore key questions and considerations concerning government efforts to restrict online content with the ...