Jihad trending: Analysis of online extremism and how to counter it

Originally Published by Index on Censorship: 23 May 2014. Original linked here

Censorship is central to the current debate on how to counter extremism online. With fears intensifying over the potential impact of returning foreign fighters and potential ‘lone wolf’ terrorists, governments are increasingly targeting the Internet as a source of radicalisation. However, using negative measures such as censorship only attack the symptom rather than the array of its causes. Findings from our recent Quilliam Report show that censorship initiatives not only prove ineffective in tackling extremism, but are potentially counter-productive. Continue reading

Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter it (Executive Summary)

This executive summary is based on the Quilliam report <Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter it> by Ghaffar Hussain and Dr. Erin Marie Saltman. Published May 2014

Online extremism and the role the Internet plays in the radicalisation process is currently being debated and discussed by journalists, academics, technologists and government officials alike. This report demystifies the topic of extremist content online and exposes the manner in which online tools are being used by Islamist extremist organisations and individuals to recruit and propagandise. Current measures to tackle online extremism are also assessed and critiqued, after which the report details a practical strategy for countering extremism online and making the Internet a less hospitable domain for extremists. Continue reading

Censorship is not the way forward in countering online extremism

First published in in libdemvoice.org on 16 February 2014. Link to original article here.

Earlier this month, the Government reiterated its intent to censor online extremist content through ISP filtering systems. This has largely been in reaction to fears over radical jihadi videos coming from Syria and has been heightened due to recent estimates of 2,000 European fighters travelling to Syria. There is particular concern over the influence foreign fighters may have on the young and impressionable upon their return to their countries of origin. Though well-intentioned, government-controlled filtering is problematic for a number of reasons.

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