ISD has submitted expert advice for the consultation on the UK Government’s Online Harms White Paper, which lays out the stated design for regulation of technology companies in the UK. As part of this effort, ISD has worked with leading UK research and civil society organisations including Carnegie UK, Demos, Doteveryone, the Fawcett Society, and the Jo Cox Foundation to produce a joint statement on the Online Harms White Paper and the direction of regulation in the UK.
This report presents the findings of a project that investigated the prevalence, scale and nature of the ideologies and narratives that motivated the attack which left 51 dead and injured a further 50 more during Friday prayers at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. The report explores the origins of the ‘Great Replacement’ and ‘white genocide’ theories and the dynamics and platforms which have allowed the ideas to spread. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis across mainstream and alternative social media channels, this report reveals significant mainstreaming of extreme-right narratives across social media platforms and in language and policies promoted by mainstream politicians in Europe and North America. This report provides some recommendations for steps to be taken by technology companies, government and civil society to counter the spread of extremist ideologies.
Briefing Note: ‘El Rubio’ Lives: The Challenge Of Arabic Language Extremist Content On Social Media Platforms’
This briefing outlines research uncovering thousands of users viewing extremist content in Arabic language across mainstream social platforms including Facebook and YouTube
The research series Hate Speech and Radicalisation on the Internet provides interdisciplinary insights into the current developments of extremist activities on the internet. With the aid of expert contributions from all over Germany, the psychological, political, anthropological and technological aspects of online hate speech and radicalisation will be considered and recommendations will be made for political leaders, social media platforms as well as NGOs and activists.
Disrupted: Evidence of Widespread Digital Disruption of the 2019 European Elections. Joint submission by Avaaz and ISD
This briefing brings together the observations of a coalition of organisation who monitored the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections to identify distortion, disruption or interference campaigns and the technology companies response to them. You can read more about ISD's work monitoring the 2019 EU Elections in our interim report, published 24th May 2019.
The rise of coordinated attacks on the foundations of liberal democracy continue unabated across Europe. In the United Kingdom, fringe groups and ideologues continue to challenge the government and the tech sector as they promote xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and extremism. By doing so, they continue to inflame community tensions and create division and polarisation between citizens.
Through the Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN) programme our teams have been working with young people who consider themselves civically engaged, and therefore, “activists,” and are interested in preventing and countering violent extremism in their communities. As part of this programming, and with the support of the United States Embassy in Belgium, YouthCAN teams in 2018-2019 played a central role in resourcing and supporting 57 young activists from 14 countries across Western and Eastern Europe.
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) has uncovered a range of digital influence campaigns targeting the European Parliamentary elections through a mix of social media mapping, undercover online reporting and media monitoring. This interim briefing paper addresses who is behind these malign influence operations and analyses the techniques they use. It also assesses the record of the tech companies in addressing these threats to electoral integrity. A full post-election analysis will be published in the coming weeks and experts at ISD can be made available for comment on the election results.
The advent of new communication technologies and their ubiquity has many benefits for information sharing at a global level. However, these new technologies have also created new challenges which our societies are now faced with: the spread of disinformation, manipulation and online hate. This report assesses the Sens Critique pilot programme which took place in Paris last year.
A combination of social media analysis, network mapping and investigative reporting carried out by ISD’s Digital Research Unit found that far-right conspiracy and misinformation networks used a suite of new and existing platforms to mobilise and coordinate election-related activities online and offline in the lead up to the Bavarian State elections in Germany in 2018.