r/WatchRedditDie and the politics of reddit’s bans and quarantines
September 18, 2023
The subreddit r/WatchRedditDie was founded in 2015 after reddit started implementing anti-harassment policies, and positions itself as a “fire alarm for reddit” meant to voyeuristically watch reddit’s impending (symbolic) death. As conversations around platform governance, moderation, and the role of platforms in controlling hate speech become more complex, r/WatchRedditDie and its affiliated subreddits are dedicated ...
Pretending to be States: The Use of Facebook by Armed Groups in Myanmar
September 18, 2023
Which functions do social media fill for non-state armed groups in countries with internal armed conflict? Building on conflict data, interviews and media monitoring, we have reviewed the use of social media by Myanmar’s nine most powerful armed groups. The first finding is that they act like states, using social media primarily to communicate with ...
Feeling Terrified? The Emotions of Online Violent Extremism
September 18, 2023
This Element presents original research into how young people interact with violent extremist material, including terrorist propaganda, when online. It explores a series of emotional and behavioural responses that challenge assumptions that terror or trauma are the primary emotional responses to these online environments. It situates young people’s emotional responses within a social framework, revealing ...
Facebook’s policies against extremism: Ten years of struggle for more transparency
September 18, 2023
For years, social media, including Facebook, have been criticized for lacking transparency in their community standards, especially in terms of extremist content. Yet, moderation is not an easy task, especially when extreme-right actors use content strategies that shift the Overton window (i.e., the range of ideas acceptable in public discourse) rightward. In a self-proclaimed search ...
‘Welcome to #GabFam’: Far-right virtual community on Gab
September 18, 2023
With large social media platforms coming under increasing pressure to deplatform far-right users, the Alternative Technology movement (Alt-Tech) emerged as a new digital support infrastructure for the far right. We conduct a qualitative analysis of the prominent Alt-Tech platform Gab, a social networking service primarily modelled on Twitter, to assess the far-right virtual community on ...
Radicalization in the Social Media Era: Understanding the Relationship between Self-Radicalization and the Internet
September 18, 2023
September 11th was a turning point in the understanding of terrorism and radicalization. The Internet has provided an instrumental change regarding how terrorists communicate and spread their propaganda, proving a cause of concern for counterterrorism units. The increased use of social networking platforms has provided a significant change in the process of self-radicalization, with younger ...
Social media interactions, online radicalisation and Conversation Analysis
September 18, 2023
Social media platforms have become extremely popular in the last fifteen years. Almost half of the world population has a social media account. This has made social media extremely attractive to extremist groups. Recent studies have shown that extremists use social media platforms for violent radicalisation. They take advantage of the interactional nature of these ...
September 11 Conspiracies: 20 Years Later
September 18, 2023
This report will outline some of the ways social media continues to be exploited 20 years on to promote misinformation, as well as conspiracies that advance bigoted and prejudiced beliefs and ideologies, especially anti-Semitism. ...
Chapter 10: On free public communication and terrorism online
September 18, 2023
The basic issue that this chapter examines is how we set morally justifiable limits on what people say online, with a specific focus on speech acts related to terrorism. The chapter takes as one of its foundational assumptions that there are situations in which free speech, while an important and potentially fundamental right, can be ...
The personality and propaganda puzzle: Exploring the effect of personality on exposure to extremist content online
September 18, 2023
Objective: This paper applies Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory to explain the role of exposure to violent extremist content online in the wider psychological process of “radicalization.” Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory is a suitable theory to apply to this domain given that (a) the motivation to engage in violent extremism is widely discussed, yet motivational theories are rarely ...