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From Keyboard Warrior to Digital Army: Mapping Far-Right Networked Publics

Project description

Far-right adaptation to online platform regulations

Technology companies are adapting to keep extremism and terrorism in check. However, far-right users are also adapting their practices to recruit, radicalise and mobilise. The EU-funded MAFNET project will apply an innovative research design to study the impact of tech company policy responses on far-right users, conducting a comparative study across North America, Europe and India. The project will illustrate the varying ways far-right users adapt and respond to policies aimed at hindering their activity online. MAFNET will determine the reciprocal relationship between far-right users’ behaviour on platforms and the reaction of tech company policies. The project will combine a digital ethnographic approach with qualitative interviews and focus groups of tech company policy employees.

Objective

The question driving the project From Keyboard Warrior to Digital Army: Mapping Far-Right Networked Publics (MAFNET) focuses on how far-right online communities recruit, radicalize, and mobilize in response to policy regulations on extremism and terrorism by technology companies. In this project, I will study the effects of tech company policy responses on far-right users by utilizing a comparative focus across North America, Europe, and India. Studying across these contexts will illustrate the differing ways in which far-right users adapt and respond to policies aimed to hinder their activity online. Although tech companies operate globally, policy teams develop local approaches for addressing extremist content on their platforms, often guided by national and regional legal frameworks. This project utilizes an innovative research design in determining the reciprocal relationship between how far-right users act on platforms (shifting from individual to collective action) and the ways in which tech company policies react to far-right activity on their platforms, thus shaping far-right adaptation techniques online. I combine a digital ethnographic approach towards studying online behaviour of far-right users with qualitative interviews and focus groups of tech company policy employees. This project will elucidate the processes of far-right online community building, contributing to scholarship on digital cultures, media governance and regulation, and social movements. It will provide insight for policymakers, practitioners, and tech companies on countering radicalization and recruitment into the far-right, as well as effective approaches to challenging far-right propaganda.

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Coordinator

TILBURG UNIVERSITY- UNIVERSITEIT VAN TILBURG
Net EU contribution
€ 203 464,32
Address
Warandelaan 2
5037 AB Tilburg
Netherlands

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Region
Zuid-Nederland Noord-Brabant Midden-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
EU contribution
No data

Partners (1)