VOX-Pol Newsletter 8(2) June 2021

Welcome to Volume 8 Issue 2 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. Follow us on Twitter @VOX_Pol for live updates and releases.

Yours Sincerely,
The VOX-Pol Team


The article, Online Extremism and Terrorism Research Ethics: Researcher Safety, Informed Consent, and the Need for Tailored Guidelines, by Maura Conway, VOX-Pol Coordinator, is now open access and can be read in full for free. It is part of the March 2021 Ethics and Terrorism special issue of the journal Terrorism and Political Violence.

The article reflects on two core issues that occur as human subjects’ research ethics play out for extremism and terrorism researchers in the Internet age: researcher safety and potential harms to research subjects. Two primary recommendations:

  1. The article calls for an increase in literature addressing the ethics issues raised in the conduct of ‘real world’ research on violent extremism and terrorism, which includes decisions and decision-making processes, and which engages with Internet Studies and extant work on practical Internet research ethics.
  2. The author favours the development and deployment of sub-discipline- and analysis-specific guidelines.

An in-depth VOX-Pol Report on this topic is coming soon, which will additionally cover the historical background to the development of research ethics governance systems; the pros and cons of the currently available guidelines for engaging in ethically-informed online research; and the literature produced to date on the ethics issues, challenges, and dilemmas facing online extremism and terrorism researchers.

You can read the open access article in full HERE.


Terrorism and Social Media (TASM) Virtual Conference is taking place from 21 to 25 June 2021. #TASMConf 2021 will feature 30 leading international experts on nine thematic panels spread over five days. VOX-Pol Fellows and Researchers will be presenting on themes such as online radicalisation, resilience, P/CVE, content moderation, and the impact of Covid19. Register for free HERE.


In March 2021, VOX-Pol published four Blog posts on the topic of ‘Terrorism Informatics’. The series covers A Framework for ResearchersIdentifying Extremist NetworksAnalysing Extremist Content, and Predicting Extremist Behaviour. The Blogs are written by Matti Pohjonen, a Researcher for a Finnish Academy-funded project on Digital Media Platforms and Social Accountability (MAPS) and VOX-Pol Fellow.

Following the four Blog posts, VOX-Pol hosted a Webinar, where blog author Matti Pohjonen and Eugenia Siapera, UCD Professor of Information and Communication Studies, discussed the topic of ‘Terrorism Informatics’ and how researchers can ethically engage in these kinds of analyses.

The webinar can be watched on the VOX-Pol YouTube channel and the transcript can be found HERE.


News by and featuring VOX-Pol fellows and researchers.

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