The Global Network on Extremism & Technology has released GNET Survey on the Role of Technology in Violent Extremism and the State of Research Community – Tech Industry Engagement, a new survey that explores role of the internet and social media in violent extremism.
The report begins with a brief literature review which provide an overview of the state of the field in this area. Survey findings reveal that:
There is a great deal of consensus within the research community that Internet enabled communications and social media platforms “support, encourage or mobilise real world harm.”
Despite this general agreement, “parsing the role of technology on violent extremism is incredibly complex, multifaceted and still contested.”
Responses expressed cynicism related to the opaque, reactive,and generally non-transparent nature of major platforms, underscoring different research priorities and a sense of skepticism about the seriousness and efficacy of efforts to mitigate violent extremism and disinformation. Respondents identify areas of both opportunity and concern when it comes to:
- Engagement with the tech industry;
- Collaboration with governments and security agencies; and the
- Securitisation of academic research.
A final “Policy Landscape” section explores the funding of counter-terrorism research across nine jurisdictions: Canada, the European Commission, France, Ghana, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the UN Counter‑Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, and the United States, outlining the policy landscape, existing legislation and ethical considerations.
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