Blog
JeSuisCharlie was one of the most viral hashtags in history – here’s why it wouldn’t happen today
January 17, 2024
By Emma Connolly, The Open University It will be nine years on January 7 since a shooting at French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killed 12 and injured 11 of its employees. The attack led to an immediate and unprecedented outpouring of solidarity around the world. Much of this support was organised online, using the ...
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Spreading Hate and Violence: The Link between Online Vitriol and Terrorism
January 11, 2023
By Amanda R. Champion, David M. Hattie, Devinder Khera, Richard Frank, & Cory L. Pedersen In the aftermath of Alek Minassian’s 2018 van attack in Toronto, Canada, that claimed the lives of 11 individuals, a reporter from The Telegraph stated that Minassian drove a rented van into a crowd of pedestrians on a major downtown ...
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Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has disrupted the Christchurch Call – NZ needs to rethink its digital strategy
January 4, 2023
By Markus Luczak-Roesch, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter as the new sole private owner has delivered plenty of material for memes. Ironically, much of the debate about Twitter is still happening on the platform itself, sometimes with Musk jumping into the conversations personally. At the same time, ...
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Disinformation and the 2022 Brazilian General Elections: The First Round Vote
December 14, 2022
By Dr James Fitzgerald, Dr R. Marie Santini, and Dr Débora Salles This piece showcases the work of new VOX-Pol member, NetLab[1]. Its purpose is to provide readers with an initial understanding of a coordinated disinformation infrastructure that has flourished in Brazil, with a focus on how it interacted with the first round vote of ...
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Lessons from the Decline of the American Racist Skinheads and Emerging Online Trends of the Far-Right
December 7, 2022
By Jonathan Pieslak In a recent VOX-Pol blog post, I outlined how online digital music contributed to the decline of the American racist skinhead movement. More than the aging-out of members or the recruitment of prospects to other groups, the subculture faced significant challenges brought about by the collapse of physical music media and the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Tech Against Terrorism’s Online Regulation Series: Ireland
January 12, 2022
By Tech Against Terrorism Since the 2000s Ireland has emerged as the preferred destination for many leading tech companies, and for many members of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) – including all founding members: Meta, Twitter, and Microsoft1 – to establish their EU headquarters. This concentration of tech headquarters in Dublin places ...
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A Better Way to Regulate Online Hate Speech: Require Social Media Companies to Bear a Duty of Care to Users
September 22, 2021
By Katharine Gelber Hate speech is proliferating online and governments, regulators and social media companies are struggling to keep pace with their efforts to combat it. In July 2021, the racist abuse of Black English football players on Facebook and Twitter has brought the issue to the forefront and shown how slow and ineffective the tech ...
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Using Twitter as a Data Source: An Overview of Social Media Research Tools (2021)
June 23, 2021
By Wasim Ahmed When I wrote the original version of this post back in 2015, and the revised versions in 2017 and 2019, I wasn’t sure how long Twitter would provide access to its data. This was because after a string of public scandals other platforms such as Facebook had been closing or limiting access. Fast-forward to 2021, and something ...