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GNET Research Digest – May 2023

GNET Research Digest – May 2023
18th July 2023 GNET Team
In Research Digest

Welcome to the May edition of the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET) research digest.

Your digest contains a selection of relevant news, research, academic journal articles, and GNET Insights relating to terrorist use of technology.

New GNET Report:

A Feminist Theorisation of Cybersecurity to Identify and Tackle Online Extremism

Through the implementation of a feminist theorisation of cybersecurity to tackle extremism, this report proposes three core shifts in our responses to online extremism:

  1. Incorporate misogynist and racist online abuse into our conceptions of extremism.
  2. Shift the focus from responding to attacks and violence to addressing structural violence online.
  3. Empower and centre victims and survivors of online abuse
    and extremism.

The radical potential of this approach is that, while caring for victims, stakeholders also invest in developing responses that build stronger, supportive and educated counterforces to the abuse. When people receive help with the trauma experienced, individuals and communities are empowered to spot harms, help others and show a united front. Supportive and empowered communities help to ensure the upkeep of human rights. By bringing marginalised people’s experiences of violence into the centre of cybersecurity and P/CVE policies, we can impactfully redirect resources to create support mechanisms and initiatives that help victims of online violence and ultimately foster a community of care that challenges extremism and the structures of power that facilitate it. A feminist theorisation of cybersecurity can help us to tackle the roots of extremism.

Read the report here

New GNET Report:
The Online Gaming Ecosystem: Assessing Digital Socialisation, Extremism Risks and Harms Mitigation Efforts

This report provides a review of the research on the exploitation of gaming and gaming‑adjacent platforms by violent extremists and the policies seeking to mitigate the impact of that exploitation. There is increasing interest in the nexus of online gaming and (violent) extremism. This report builds on the work of the Extremism and Gaming Research Network (EGRN) to provide a primer for those new to this space and an updated state of play of the cutting‑edge research taking place among members of the network and beyond.

The report is divided into three sections:

First, it lays out the online gaming ecosystem. The report identifies gamers, the unique individual and community identity formations that can happen in these spaces and the multifaceted environment in which this takes place, including games, gaming‑adjacent spaces and beyond.

Second, it builds upon and enhances a typology of potential harms in the online gaming ecosystem. This typology allows clarification of the different ways in which extremism can both spread through these spaces and how extremists can specifically exploit these spaces and communities.

Third, it provides an overview of some of the efforts that are currently ongoing to mitigate these potential harms. This includes efforts in the tech industry to reinforce policies and moderation efforts, by game designers to address potential challenges at an early stage and by practitioners who use online gaming engagement or gamification to prevent and counter violent extremism effectively.

Finally, the report concludes by looking to the future of this exponentially expanding space. It offers some recommendations for research, policy and practice to better understand and address the threat of extremism within online gaming to protect and enhance online gaming as a positive engagement space.

Read the report here

Call For Applications:
The Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders Program 2023

The Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) is organizing the 12th edition of the Atlantic Dialogues Conference, a high-level conference convening influential public and private sectors leaders from around the Atlantic Basin for open, informal discussion on cross-regional issues.

The ADEL program is PCNS’s flagship young professionals program, held two days prior to the Atlantic Dialogues conference. Every year, this program brings together 30 to 50 young leaders from around the Atlantic basin and Africa. These rising leaders have displayed leadership capabilities, and have a strong sense of commitment to social and economic issues facing their communities in particular and the world in general. In 2023, 40 young professionals will be selected to participate in the 2023 Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders Program.

The application deadline is June 20th 2023.

Find out more here

Academic Papers

McNeil-Wilson, Richard & Anna Triandafyllidou. Routledge Handbook of Violent Extremism and Resilience.

Collins, Jonathan (30 May 2023). Mobilising Extremism in Times of Change: Analysing the UK’s Far-Right Online Content During the PandemicEuropean Journal on Criminal Policy and Research.  

Bianchi, Serena et al. (30 May 2023). Artificial Intelligence to Counter Cyber-TerrorismInternational Conference on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime. 

Vartei, Andreea-Mădălina (30 May 2023). Financing Terrorism: Economy’s Dark SideInternational Conference on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime. 

Khoirunisa, Ana (29 May 2023). Islam in the Midst of AI (Artificial Intelligence) Struggles: Between Opportunities and ThreatsInternational Journal of Islamic Studies. 

Dutta, Prithviraj (29 May 2023). Violent Sexualization of Women in Video GamesInternational Journal for Multidisciplinary Research. 

Saminov, Elyorjon (May 2023). International Experience on Fighting Extremism and Terrorism in Cyber SpaceEPRA International Journal of Research and Development. 

Grim, Kelsey (May 2023). Protecting Women and Preventing Violence: The Intersection Between Misogyny, Domestic Extremism, and Mass Violence. University of Colorado.

Hughes, Andrew (May 2023). Brand lone wolf: The importance of brand narrative in creating extremistsRethinking Social Media and Extremism.

News Articles

Boffey, Daniel (2 June 2023). Terror-plotting Essex teenager jailed for life after mother reports him. The Guardian.

FP Staff (2 June 2023). BRICS countries pledge to combat terror finance networks, safe heavens. First Post.

Handle, Julia & Louis Jarvers (31 May 2023). Extremist NFTs Across Blockchains. Lawfare.

Myers, Steven Lee & Kelleen Browning (18 May 2023). Extremism Finds Fertile Ground in Chat Rooms for Gamers. New York Times. 

Froio, Nicole & Matheus Andrade (17 May 2023). Online extremism linked to rise in school shootings in Brazil, researchers find. Rest of World.

Fischer, Sara (9 May 2023). American extremists linked to Russian sites. Axios.

Hosier, Phoebe (2 May 2023). Inquiry probes prosecution of Nazi symbols online as authorities warn of Australia’s ‘increasingly diverse’ terrorism threat. ABC News.

Garcia, Mariana Diaz (14 April 2023). Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms: Technology and the Evolution of Online Extremism


Regeni, Petra (31 May 2023). Accelerationism Meets Gamification: A Look at the Convergence in the Framing of Online Narratives

Gill, Gerard (23 May 2023). Online Incitement and Small-Scale Terrorism: Violent Rhetoric from the Freedom Movement on Facebook

Thakkar, Mona & Vineet P (22 May 2023). The State of Play: Islamic State Khorasan Province’s Anti-India Propaganda Efforts

O’Luanaigh, Robin (19 May 2023). Co-opting Cottagecore: Pastoral Aesthetics in Reactionary and Extremist Movements

Frenguelli, Ninian & Amy-Louise Watkin (18 May 2023). My Wish to be a #Tradwife: An Introduction to #tradwife Memes on Whisper

Jurg, Daniël, Maximilian Schlüter & Marc Tuters (17 May 2023). Inside the Cult of Stefan Molyneux: A Historical Exploration of Far-Right Radicalisation on YouTube

Criezis, Meili (16 May 2023). The Allen, Texas Mass Shooting: An Examination of Misogyny, Anti-Asian Racism, and Internalised Racism

Won, Ye Bin (12 May 2023). Analysing Harmful and Supremacist Narratives on Gab Homeschooling Groups

Marks, Eliza (10 May 2023). The Revitalisation of Christian Identity Content on YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok 

Guhl, Jakob (9 May 2023). Christgram: White Christian Extremism on Telegram

Deedman, Jon (3 May 2023). The Internet Consortium for Online Safety: How Collaborative Tech, Not Legislation, Could Prevent Harmful Content Proliferation

Schlegel, Linda (1 May 2023). Ari’s Mission: Educating Young Audiences on Conspiracy Theories Through Fictional Narratives