The Challenge of Drawing a Line between Objectionable Material and Freedom of Expression Online
June 26, 2019
By Philippa Smith When it comes to debates about free speech that needs to be protected and hate speech that needs to be legislated, the idiom of “drawing the line” is constantly referenced by politicians, journalists and academics. It has surfaced again as New Zealanders struggle to comprehend the abhorrence of the Christchurch terror attack and ...
The Curation/Search Radicalization Spiral
May 29, 2019
By Mike Caulfield Sam prides himself on questioning conventional wisdom and subjecting claims to intellectual scrutiny. For kids today, that means Googling stuff. One might think these searches would turn up a variety of perspectives, including at least a few compelling counterarguments. One would be wrong. The Google searches flooded his developing brain with endless ...
Amplifying the Voice of Terror: A New Ethics for Terrorism Reporting by Media?
March 20, 2019
By Dr Matteo Vergani The Christchurch terror attack conducted by Brenton Tarrant highlights the urgent need to break the destructive synergy between media reporting and terrorist messaging. Tarrant planned a careful media strategy. He exploited social media, like many al-Qaeda and ISIS-inspired terrorists before him, live-streaming his attack and uploading a manifesto in the expectation that ...
Fear, More Than Hate, Feeds Online Bigotry and Real-World Violence
March 13, 2019
By Adam G. Klein When a U.S. senator asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Can you define hate speech?” it was arguably the most important question that social networks face: how to identify extremism inside their communities. Hate crimes in the 21st century follow a familiar pattern in which an online tirade escalates into violent actions. ...
Tracing Transnational Linkages on Twitter: Mapping Indian Diaspora Supporters of Brexit and Trump
February 20, 2019
By Eviane Leidig A lacuna exists in the study of the radical right whereby researchers focus disproportionately on developments in Europe and North America. Yet, countries such as India, the Philippines, Turkey, and Brazil highlight how the radical right can operate, and indeed flourish, beyond the West. Our failure to incorporate these non-Western case studies poses ...
Charged For Three Clicks of a Mouse: Online Crime and the New UK Counter-Terrorism Bill
January 23, 2019
By Hoda Hashem The UK government is proposing a new UK counter-terrorism bill. But can it really strike a balance between liberty and security? The UK has a long history of controversial counter-terrorism measures. The most recent is the proposed Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018. Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently denied that the new ...
Upvoting Extremism, Part II: An Assessment of Extreme-Right Discourse on Reddit
December 5, 2018
By Tiana Gaudette, Garth Davies, and Ryan Scrivens This blog is Part II of II. Click here for Part I. This blog is the second of a two-part series that was presented at the ‘VOX-Pol Conference – Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet: Present and Future Trends’ in Amsterdam on 20 August 2018. Last week on ...
Upvoting Extremism, Part I: An Assessment Of Extreme Right Discourse On Reddit
November 28, 2018
By Tiana Gaudette, Garth Davies, and Ryan Scrivens This blog is the first of a two-part series; it was originally presented at the ‘VOX-Pol Conference – Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet: Present and Future Trends’ in Amsterdam on 20 August 2018. Like other extremist movements, right-wing extremists from across the globe have exploited the power of the ...
Germany’s Legal Crackdown on Social Media: Four Misconceptions Dispelled
July 25, 2018
By Stefan Theil Germany’s infamous network enforcement law – which seeks to more heavily regulate social media – came into force at the start of 2018 to almost unanimous criticism. That is unfortunate, because I believe the law is a risk worth taking and can serve as a good starting point for governments considering tougher regulations ...
Technology and Regulation Must Work in Concert to Combat Hate Speech Online
May 23, 2018
By Andre Oboler Online bullying, hate and incitement are on the rise, and new approaches are needed to tackle them. As the Australian Senate conducts hearings for its Inquiry into cyberbullying, it should consider a two-pronged approach to combating the problem. First, the government should follow the lead of Germany in imposing financial penalties on major ...