The Christchurch Call Leaders Summit 20 September 2022: civil society perspectives
September 28, 2022
By Farzaneh Badii, Anjum Rahman, and Katy Vaughan On 20th September 2022, Leaders of the Christchurch Call Community including Heads of State and Government, the Technology Industry, Civil Society, and Partners of the Call participated in the third Leaders’ Summit in New York. The Summit provided an innovative approach to multilateral dialogue. The round table, ...
Right-Wing Extremists’ Use of the Internet: Emerging Trends in the Empirical Literature
September 21, 2022
This article summarizes a recent paper published in Barbara Perry, Jeff Gruenwald, and Ryan Scrivens’ ‘Right-Wing Extremism in Canada and the United States’ (Palgrave). By Ryan Scrivens, Tiana Gaudette, Maura Conway, and Thomas J. Holt Close attention by journalists and policymakers to the widespread use of the Internet by violent Western (i.e., American, Canadian, Australian, ...
Polarisation: A Short Introduction
July 27, 2022
By Annelies Pauwels and Maarten van Alstein Polarisation comes in different forms. An important distinction can be made between ideological and affective polarisation. Ideological (or issue-based) polarisation refers to the sharpening of opinions, positions or believes on a specific issue within a group of like-minded people. The group moves from moderate towards more extreme views on the ...
Adversarial Shifts and the Availability of Extremist Content Online
July 20, 2022
By Conor Rees Online extremist activity is not a new phenomenon. Terrorist and Violent Extremist (TVE) use of the Internet has been increasingly well researched since the turn of the millennium. This development of knowledge has led to improved understandings of why TVE’s use the Internet for reasons including recruitment, spreading propaganda, and fundraising (Weiman, ...
The Playful Undertones of Radicalization
July 6, 2022
By Scott DeJong When it comes to understanding the Freedom Convoy and right-wing extremism, play offers a unique entry point. A week into the Freedom Convoy, a new symbol for the occupation graced social media: a bouncy castle. The children’s play feature, at first, seems off-kilter for a movement whose arrival in Ottawa began with ...
Close to Home: The Canadian Far Right, COVID-19 and Social Media
June 29, 2022
By Merlyna Lim and Brandon Rigato Weeks after the so-called “freedom convoy” protests ended, a familiar quietness has returned to the streets of downtown Ottawa. No more sounds of blaring horns and people partying into the wee hours. The only remaining visible traces are abandoned trucks in impound yards and barriers on streets. But these too will ...
Twitter: Not Even Elon Musk Is Wealthy Enough to Bring Absolute Free Speech to the Platform – Here’s Why
June 8, 2022
By Eric Heinze Elon Musk is the planet’s number one billionaire. If anyone can turn cyberspace into a heaven – or hell – of free speech “absolutism” via a US$44 billion (£35 billion) Twitter takeover, then surely he’s the man. Right? When free-market elephants like Musk or Jeff Bezos (who bought the Washington Post in 2013) take charge ...
Building Social Capital to Counter Polarization and Extremism? A Comparative Analysis of Tech Platforms’ Official Blog Posts
May 25, 2022
This Blog post is the third—the first is HERE and the second HERE—in a four-part series of article summaries from the EU H2020-funded BRaVE project’s  First Monday Special Issue exploring societal resilience to online polarization and extremism. Read the full article HERE [Ed.]. By Amy-Louise Watkin and Maura Conway Discussions already underway amongst not just ...
First Monday Special Issue Published on Resilience to Online Polarisation and Extremism
May 11, 2022
On 2 May 2022, First Monday published a Special Issue exploring societal resilience to online polarisation and extremism, co-edited by Amy-Louise Watkin (VOX-Pol and USW), Vivian Gerrand (Deakin University), and Maura Conway (VOX-Pol and DCU). The seven articles in this special issue were selected from those delivered at a series of workshops undertaken by the ...
UK Online Safety Bill: Ambiguous Definitions of Harm Could Threaten Freedom of Speech – Instead of Protecting It
April 27, 2022
By Laura Higson-Bliss The UK government’s much anticipated online safety bill has now been released. The bill seeks to impose a duty of care on companies, such as social media platforms, to remove illegal content, and in some cases, “legal but harmful” content, quickly. Failure to comply will result in heavy fines or, in extreme ...