Using AI to monitor the internet for terror content is inescapable – but also fraught with pitfalls
March 13, 2024
Stuart Macdonald, Swansea University; Ashley A. Mattheis, Dublin City University, and David Wells, Swansea University Every minute, millions of social media posts, photos and videos flood the internet. On average, Facebook users share 694,000 stories, X (formerly Twitter) users post 360,000 posts, Snapchat users send 2.7 million snaps and YouTube users upload more than 500 ...
Plotters: The UK Terrorists Who Failed – A Book Review
July 5, 2023
A Book Review by Joe Whittaker It is often said that online terrorism research has a data problem. While there is a sizable empirical literature into the “supply” of extremist content, such as propaganda videos, social media analyses, or jihadist magazines, we still know very little about how actual terrorists act. This data problem is, ...
Supreme Court unlikely to ‘break the internet’ over Google, Twitter cases – rather, it is approaching with caution
March 22, 2023
By Michael W. Carroll, American University “These are not, like, the nine greatest experts on the internet,” noted Justice Elena Kagan – a reference to herself and fellow colleagues on the Supreme Court. Depsite this, the justices are being asked to negotiate complex arguments that could have wide implications for online providers and ultimately everyone ...
Pakistan’s Online Harm Rules: Rights to Privacy and Speech Denied
May 27, 2020
By Aryan Garg In January 2020, the federal cabinet of Pakistan approved the Citizen’s Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules to regulate social media platforms for streaming content related to terrorism, extremism, hate speech, sedition, fake news, defamation, violence, and national security. Pakistan is not the first country that has attempted to regulate social media platforms. ...
How Memes are Becoming the New Frontier of Information Warfare
April 1, 2020
By Tom Ascott Everyone has seen a meme, whether they know it or not. They’re everywhere on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The most popular ones make it off the Internet and show up in newspapers, television shows or films. You’ve almost certainly seen Pepe the Frog, and if you haven’t seen the classic ‘Woman yelling ...
Technology and the Swarm: A Dialogic Turn in Online Far-Right Activism
March 11, 2020
By Dr. William Allchorn In late January this year, the outgoing director general of the UK’s domestic intelligence agency, Sir Andrew Parker, suggested that technology was one of the biggest challenges facing the UK’s Security Services. Sir Andrew said he was particularly interested in artificial intelligence “because of our need to be able to make sense of ...
This Isn’t Helter Skelter: Why the Internet Alone Can’t be Blamed for Radicalisation
October 31, 2018
By Daniel Baldino & Kosta Lucas The Internet’s precise role in the process of radicalisation remains vexing. You can lead a person to a bomb-making manual, but you can’t make them use it. Radicalisation is a social process. It refers to a means by which an individual or group embraces an extreme ideology and rejects ...
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VOX-Pol Newsletter 5(3) August 2018
August 15, 2018
Welcome to Vol. 5 Iss. 3 of the VOX-Pol Newsletter. If you have colleagues or friends who may be interested in the content of our newsletter, or any events or research carried out by VOX-Pol, please forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe via our website. In particular, please update any interested colleagues about ...
Now You See It, Now You Don’t? Moving Beyond Account & Content Removal in Digital Counter-Extremism Operations
June 13, 2018
By Lorand Bodo On 25–26 April 2018, a major multinational digital content takedown operation was conducted against the Islamic State (IS). The operation targeted the major online media outlets directly associated with IS. The operation was reportedly successful in collecting digital evidence about IS activities, including the seizure of servers located in Canada, the Netherlands ...
VOX-Pol Participation in Second Europol ECTC Advisory Group Conference
April 24, 2018
The second conference of Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC) Advisory Group took place at their headquarter’s in The Hague on 17 – 18 April. VOX-Pol Coordinator Prof. Maura Conway presented new research on ‘The Jihadi Online Ecology (Beyond ISIS)’ at the conference, which attracted more than 100 participants from a diverse range of backgrounds, ...