As part of the Strong Cities Network’s programme of ongoing research, ISD analysts mapped and analysed the online extremist landscape in Bangladesh. This Dispatch looks at their findings.
It has been a decade since the 2011 terror attacks in Oslo, considered by many to be a “turning point” in far right extremist mobilisation. This Dispatch outlines the ways in which the ideas, tactics and dynamics underpinning the attack have come to shape one of the most persistent and dangerous terror threats we are seeing today.
This Dispatch outlines seven of the key takeaways from a new ISD report that documents the findings of a study tracking the online ecosystems used by right-wing extremists in Canada in 2020.
ISD analysts identified a number of pro-CCP accounts spreading distorted research on Twitter, with the seeming intention being to lambast one of China’s oldest rivals: Japan. This dispatch outlines just how legitimate, pre-existing research can be manipulated and repackaged in furtherance of geopolitical goals.
Ciaran O'Connor writes about how TikTok Sounds are being used to create and popularise misleading and harmful COVID-19 related content on the platform, in particular discouraging people against getting vaccinated.
This dispatch highlights how, in Czechia and Slovakia, character assassination seems to be the most successful strategy used by those seeking to disrupt and polarise online debate on climate change.
This dispatch examines the most widely shared internet domains amongst online anti-vaccination communities in Germany. It illustrates the high level of influence Austrian and Swiss disinformation outlets appear to hold in the German-speaking online sphere of conspiracy narratives.
This article highlights the key findings from a new ISD research report that provides a snapshot of the different online communities involved in the promotion of hate and disinformation targeting refugees and the migration sector in 2020.
Climate Change Reporting in Hungary: The Evolving Nature of Messaging among Government-Affiliated Media and Pundits
In Hungary, government-affiliated media is critical in shaping public opinion. This dispatch looks at how national and local government-affiliated media outlets on Facebook have portrayed the issue of climate change over the past two years.
In Poland, climate change is largely absent from the online discussion around coal mining and the energy sector, which is instead dominated by economic and security arguments in favour of, and in opposition to, the coal industry. This dispatch highlights the key trends in such discussion, as well as the types of messaging different actors employ.
The social media uproar around the Turów mine dispute illustrates how Eurosceptic beliefs and suspicions about Germany were weaponised in attempt to drive polarisation and delay climate action in Poland.
The social media debate around a new climate communications project by German broadcaster WDR provides a useful case study that illustrates how climate communication efforts by public broadcasters are received - especially in the lead up to an election.
An investigation by ISD suggests a shift in seemingly coordinated pro-CCP network tactics - one involving real, genuine human Twitter influencers acting as advocates for pro-CCP narratives.
New ISD research presents a data-driven snapshot of the proliferation of COVID-19-related online antisemitic content in French and German on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram.
This Dispatch looks at the links between the largest online archive of Islamic State materials and a real-world IS case. It raises a set of policy considerations for managing online contingents of movements like the Islamic State and disrupting the creation and management of such archives.
New analysis by ISD and CTC focuses on Islamic State-affiliated content stored on digital archives, and the method of creating hubs of information to preserve such materials. Such research reveals one small part of the movement’s ongoing efforts to document its path to stay relevant in the future.
New analysis by researchers at ISD and the Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities at Victoria University analyses the interplay between far-right and far-left groups in the state of Victoria, Australia on the alt-tech social networking platform Gab.
In the online world, conspiracies and misinformation are often used to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, undermine efforts to tackle its spread and promote anxieties about the vaccine. This briefing examines how Dutch communities on Facebook promoted COVID-19 vaccine misinformation throughout April.
Part II of 'Climate is the New Front in the Culture Wars' highlights an entirely different way in which green politics can be appropriated by extremists - to advance a nationalist view around the sacredness of land.
The far right has stoked up fear of immigration, elites, and multiculturalism. Now, extremists are turning their attention online to the alleged threat of the green agenda – with an eye to discrediting COP-26.
The Institute for Economics and Peace take a look at some changes in Positive Peace over the last decade.
The role of algorithms in boosting conspiracy theories and radicalisation has been brought into sharp focus over the past year. Using Amazon’s book sales platform, Elise Thomas illustrates how such problems with algorithmic recommendation extend far beyond social media platforms.
ISD analysts conducted a network analysis of the clusters of Twitter accounts driving climate-related debate during the German state elections. This article reveals their findings.
As part of their ongoing monitoring of hateful speech in France, ISD researchers analysed anti-Muslim discussion in France on Twitter and Facebook. This Dispatch outlines their findings and points to the need for an intersectional analysis of anti-Muslim discourse.
New research by ISD examines how Telegram has evolved among far-right groups and supporters in Ireland, moving from a fringe platform to become one of the main online spaces used by the far-right.
Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines are rampant across Arabic-language Facebook entities. Recent analysis by ISD has found connections to dominant COVID-19 vaccine misinformation narratives and influencers tied to the Middle East and North Africa's geo-politics.
Ahead of the German state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz, ISD analysts examined climate-related discussion on social media. The goal was to interrogate how social media drives climate-related debate during an election period,.
A brief look at some of the defining numbers of Syrian civil war by the The Institute for Economics and Peace.
This article looks at the key topics of discussion within a network of anti-climate change communities on Facebook and Twitter in the UK from 25 February 2021- 3 March 2021.
For International Women’s Day, we look at how the implications of online gender-based abuse and disinformation threaten gender equality in a post-COVID world.
In Canada, protests against COVID-19 restrictions fuelled by conspiracies and misinformation have generated anger and hostility. This briefing takes a closer look at Canadian communities who were promoting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation throughout February.
Elise Thomas discusses how Facebook’s decision to block Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform created a short-lived experiment as to what happens to disinformation and conspiracy theories in the absence of journalism on social media platforms.
This Dispatches post examines how the "Great Reset" conspiracy is growing among online communities in the Netherlands, and how the leader of a Dutch right-wing populist party has played a key role in mainstreaming it.
In recent months, clashes at anti-lockdown protests have shown how online vitriol can lead to offline violence. We take a look at the nature of some of this online vitriol in Ireland throughout January - and find that Irish COVID-19 vaccine misinformation communities on Facebook are on the rise.
The same social media tools being used to inform the public about COVID-19 vaccinations are also being used to misinform people on a massive scale. Throughout 2021, Digital Dispatches will examine key COVID-19 vaccine misinformation themes in different countries.
A new case study by ISD provides a glimpse into the inner workings of the broader disinformation ecosystem and sheds light on the long tail of state-linked online assets.
Cécile Guerin writes about how the lines between the two sides of her life - as a researcher at ISD and a yoga teacher in her spare time - have become increasingly blurred over the past year.
As critically important vaccination programs roll out in countries around the world, it is imperative that we think about mitigating the potential security risks posed by conspiracy theorists to vaccination sites.
This is the final piece of a three-part Digital Dispatches series that looks back at how a year of online extremist mobilisation precipitated a violent assault on the heart of American democracy on January 6 2021.
This is the second in a three-part Digital Dispatches series that looks back at how a year of online extremist mobilisation precipitated a violent assault on the heart of American democracy on January 6 2021.
This is the first in a three-part Digital Dispatches series that looks back at how a year of online extremist mobilisation precipitated a violent assault on the heart of American democracy on January 6 2021.
Donald Trump’s use of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric as a means through which to govern and campaign is longstanding, but it arguably reached its apex with his 2020 re-election bid – the consequences of which are both severe and growing.
The importance of pushing back against misleading and false narratives in their early stages was made clear in the midst of the 2020 US presidential election, when efforts to debunk mainstreamed voter fraud narratives instead ran the risk of amplifying the narratives further.
New research by ISD tracks far-right narratives from the US, France and Germany, looking at how such narratives gain traction in domestic mainstream media and exploring if and how narratives move from the far-right’s online media ecosystem to different geographical and political contexts.
How do the far-right and far-left discuss each other on Facebook? How do narratives about the other side of the political spectrum shape the online activity of these groups? An analysis of the far-right and far-left Facebook ecosystem in Australia looks at how central discussion of the ‘other side’ is to each movement.
The Western Balkans faces twin challenges from online extremism where international extremist narratives target the region through online platforms while its histories and geopolitics are appropriated to justify extremist actions and narratives around the world.
When Donald Trump retweeted a post claiming that Dominion Voting Systems had partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to deliberately switch ballots intended for Trump to Joe Biden, a narrative of election rigging began that would spread online, and which will likely resurface again.
A tweet baselessly claimed that Dominion Voting Systems had partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to switch ballots intended for Trump to Joe Biden. It was the peak of a narrative combining technology and corruption concerns with the need to explain Trump’s increasingly apparent election defeat.
ISIS continues to deploy social media recruitment strategies when opportunities arise. In an effort to understand each social media platform’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of striking terrorist content off their platforms, ISD timed platforms' takedowns of content egregiously violating their policies.
On 31 May 2020, President Trump tweeted that the far-left network Antifa would be designated a “Terrorist Organization.” ISD researchers monitored the reactions to Trump’s tweet by far-right actors online.
ISD researchers conducted a long-term analysis of conversations around the loose network of far-left organisations known as Antifa between January 2019 and June 2020.
In Part I, we looked at how the Proud Boys online presence reacted to the sudden and widespread exposure that the group received following Trump’s mention of them in the first US Presidential debate. Now, we look at the narratives and methods used in their responses.
Mainstream social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly active in removing extremist content from their platforms. But what happens when a major figure such as the US President mentions a hate group in a Presidential debate?
In early June, troll groups on 4chan staged a series of online raids against Black Lives Matter activists on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, ultimately stifling their ability to coordinate activities.
ISD found that conspiratorial narratives on Facebook and Twitter about billionaire philanthropist George Soros rose in tandem with the George Floyd protests that strafed the US in May.
In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, a video emerged and a false narrative took hold: an innocent man had been beaten - some said to death - for defending his business.
Simple techniques such as alternative hashtag spellings can circumvent TikTok's measures to combat the spread of QAnon content. TikTok must do more to combat the problem – and urgently.
Digital Dispatches is the place to come for cutting-edge analysis that might otherwise fall between our in-depth research publications, our weekly Lens on Hate trend briefings, or our commentary in the press.