Extreme digital content: study of radical conversations by ultra-right groups in France

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Author Séraphin Alava, Nawel Chaouni, Nagem Rasha
Title of Journal, Proc. or Book HAL open science
Issue 27 April 2024
DOI hal-04561644
Repository link https://hal.science/hal-04561644
Peer reviewed Yes
Open access Yes

Extremist forms of action online: indoctrination processes and discourse The forms of extremist action are diverse and can vary according to the ideology, motivation, internal organization, external support, objectives and resources of the entities, groups or individuals involved, sometimes in isolation [Reference]. In this chapter, we take a particular interest in the organization of ultra-right-wing groups on the web, and in particular on social media.

Online violent discourse and forms of action represent a complex, multi-factor (Neumann, 2015; Bouchard, 2015) and constantly evolving phenomenon. We now know that massive use of social media has an amplifying effect on the proliferation of violent content (Conway, 2006; 2007; 2011), particularly for isolated individuals (Ravndal, 2013) and notably through the spread of extremist ideas (Conway, 2006, 2007). This can be explained by the widespread use of pseudonyms, anonymity and the growing availability of encrypted platforms (Telegram, Discord or Signal). The Internet offers radical ideologies a global reach (Conway, 2006) through sophisticated online marketing techniques and persuasion efforts enabling radical groups to attract new followers. Social media, online forums and instant messaging applications have become essential channels for their communication, especially as they offer attractive graphic formats to embellish violent messages (Colin, Lefebvre and Casoni 2022). This rapid evolution in usage forces researchers to constantly adapt to new technologies and new online communication modalities (Settoul, 2022; Turpin, 2022).

This work was funded by the CounteR project – “Privacy-First Situational Awareness Platform for Violent Terrorism and Crime Prediction, Counter Radicalization and Citizen Protection”, framed within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (Grant agreement: 101021607).

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