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Who matters online: measuring influence, evaluating content and countering violent extremism in online social networks

Authors
Keywords
  • Violence
  • Social Networks
  • Information Technology
Disciplines
  • Political Science

Abstract

Through the analysis of thousands of Twitter accounts following prominent white nationalists and anarchists, this report offers new quantitative tools to identify highly engaged extremists in large social networks and to evaluate tactics for combating violent extremism (CVE) online.The findings of this highly innovative research project show that influence and engagement in social networks related to extremism are concentrated among a very few users, allowing activists to isolate resonant messages and users. An examination of hashtags and links shared also provides insight into how extremists online view mainstream politics. Authored by ICSR Associate Fellow J.M. Berger and Bill Strathearn, the report demonstrates how quantitative analysis can identify highly engaged extremists in large social networks.

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