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Spectacles of Sovereignty in Digital Time: ISIS Executions, Visual Rhetoric and Sovereign Power — The ISIS videos staging the executions of James Foley and Steven Sotloff are usually understood as devices to deter, recruit, and “sow terror.” Left unanswered are questions about how these videos work; to whom they are addressed; and what about them can so continuously bring new audiences into existence. Analysis, ISIS, Propaganda, Terrorism Perspectives on Politics
Can Taking Down Websites Really Stop Terrorists and Hate Groups? — "Racists and terrorists, and many other extremists, have used the internet for decades and adapted as technology evolved, shifting from text-only discussion forums to elaborate and interactive websites, custom-built secure messaging systems and even entire social media platforms. Recent efforts to deny these groups online platforms will not kick hate groups, nor hate speech, off the web. In fact, some scholars theorize that attempts to shut down hate speech online may cause a backlash, worsening the problem and making hate groups more attractive to marginalized and stigmatized people, groups and movements." Counterterrorism, Europe, Propaganda, Regulation, Terrorism, UK, US, Violent Extremist VOX-Pol
Terrorists and Technology Podcast — Levi West, Director of Terrorism Studies at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, returns to look at how terrorists leverage (or don’t) emerging apps and platforms ranging from social media, to encryption, to cryptocurrencies. We do our best to cut through the hype and look at the very real limits and challenges terrorists face when they become early adopters or even sophisticated users of networks where states have a very real advantage. Terrorism Blogs of War
Regulating Internet Content: Challenges and Opportunities — Terrorist groups, like everyone else today, rely on the internet. Al-Qaeda in Iraq made its name disseminating hostage beheading videos. Omar Hammami became a Twitter star for the Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab. The Islamic State put all this on steroids, producing and disseminating thousands of videos in Arabic, English, French, Russian and other languages to reach Muslims around the world. Academia, Tech Responses, Terrorism
Running A’maq: The Practice of Western Media Citing Islamic State Propaganda — This Perspective by Leon Bystrykh looks at journalists' use of material provided by the A'maq News Agency and asks whether Western media should be using A’maq; whether this a shortcut for investigative reporting, Analysis, Terrorism
Digital Decay: Tracing Change Over Time Among English-Language Islamic State Sympathizers on Twitter — Until 2016, Twitter was the online platform of choice for English-language Islamic State (IS) sympathizers. As a result of Twitter’s counter-extremism policies - including content removal - there has been a decline in activity by IS supporters. This outcome may suggest the company’s efforts have been effective, but a deeper analysis reveals a complex, nonlinear portrait of decay. Such observations show that the fight against IS in the digital sphere is far from over. In order to examine this change over time, this report collects and reviews 845,646 tweets produced by 1,782 English-language pro-IS accounts from February 15, 2016 to May 1, 2017. This study finds that Twitter’s policies hinder sympathizers on the platform, but counter-IS practitioners should not overstate the impact of these measures in the broader fight against the organization online.

Academia, Tech Responses, Terrorism