Lone Actor Terrorism: Policy Paper 3 – Motivations, Political Engagement and Online Activity

MELANIE SMITH, SABINE BARTON AND JONATHAN BIRDWELL, FEBRUARY 2016

This policy paper makes three key recommendations to European governments and global social media companies based on data collected during the Countering Lone-Actor Terrorism project undertaken by a consortium of partners (RUSI, Chatham House, Leiden University and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue). This research brought to light the significant threat posed by right-wing lone-actor terrorism, as well as the need to continue infiltration and monitoring of violent extremist groups. The paper also recommends that social media companies continue to improve user-based reporting systems to expedite responses in potential cases of lone-actor terrorism.

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Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media

This briefing paper examines the extent to which Holocaust denial content is readily accessible across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. This paper also demonstrates how appropriately applied content moderation policies can be effective in denying dangerous conspiracy theorists a public platform by examining how Holocaust denial content has decreased significantly in the past year on YouTube.

Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation

This document presents a vision for a pan-civil societal response to online manipulation. In part, it argues, this will come down to capability: building a pooled detection capacity to function as a transparent, public interest alter­native to those built by the tech giants. In part, it will require new organisational philosophies and forms of co-operation, and in part new approaches to funding and support.

The 101 of Disinformation Detection

Disinformation can threaten the activities, objectives and individuals associated with civil society groups and their work. This toolkit lays out an approach that organisations can undertake to begin to track online disinformation on subjects that they care about. The process is intended to have a very low barrier to entry, with each stage achievable using either over-the-counter or free-to-use social media analysis tools.