Online extremism and radicalisation
- BIK team
Online extremism is an issue that has received a great deal of attention in recent months. Especially after the terrorist attacks in November 2015 in Paris, the subsequent Brussels lockdown due to high-level terrorist alert and the attacks in March 2016, the fear that young people can be groomed online in Europe by violent extremists and terrorists and encouraged to leave their home countries in order to join IS (Islamic State) in Iraq or Syria has grown, along with another fear that, through immersion in violent extremist cyberspaces, vulnerable young people can also be radicalised to carry out attacks in their home countries.
- Young people appear to be being influenced by digital content that they consume and by online interactions to the point where some have decided to leave their countries of origin to travel to Syria and Iraq in order to join Islamic State (IS).
- Around 30,000 people have left countries (that are NOT Syria and Iraq) in order to join IS. At least 6,000 of these have left European countries.
- Policy makers are placing a great emphasis on the role that the internet is playing in the recruitment of younger people to IS. There is a concern that some of those who join IS will return to the EU and carry out attacks on behalf of IS here.
- The message given by IS to its adherents is that if you are unable to travel to Syria and Iraq, then it is your duty carry out attacks in your home country.
- Many of those influenced by IS are young; indeed many are teens. Footage has emerged showing young people carrying out executions and torture at the behest of IS.
- Why are young people interested in jihadism and willing to join this new movement?
- How does online recruitment work?
- How should one (as a friend or teacher) react if they see a young person rapidly moving in this particular direction?
- How to deal with young people who have come back from Syria?
- Many professionals in the field lack the experience on how young people use the internet for communication and how online radicalisation can be found on a daily basis. Being internet experts, we can contribute to those questions by explaining the digital world of young people to others.
- Working with network partners allows us to pass on specific questions raised in Saferinternet.at trainings to experts. We are neither experts on the Muslim world, nor do we have expertise on second or third generation migrants in Austria and their experiences with society. We refer questions regarding these topics to partners from specialised organisations or the police.
- How to assess/verify information provided by an online source?
- How to trust online experts?
- How to find reliable online sources?
- Detect racism/discrimination and get to know what racism and discrimination means.
- Get to know the features of right-wing extremism and recognise them in online content.
- Recognise right-wing extremists in social networking sites.
- Recognise right-wing extremism in social web content and train adequate reactions.
- Recognise right-wing extremist messages in music clips and learn how to use reporting systems.
- Classify right-wing extremist content legally.
- Get to know various strategies of how to react to right-wing extremist actions/messages.
- The extreme right engages in alternative news dissemination, where events are passed through a racist/nationalist/national-socialist filter before it is presented to their audience. They use the internet and social media for recruiting with a high interactivity on forums and with comments. Their own media channels tell the truth, and all other media are lying to the people.
- The extreme/violent autonomous left don't use the internet as a tool for propaganda and recruiting. There is no interactivity in forums or with comments. Instead the autonomous left uses the internet and social media to mobilise for special manifestations.
- The militant jihadists in Sweden use the internet to focus on conflicts abroad, rather than to mobilise for activities in Sweden. During the studied period (September 2012–April 2013), their use of the internet as a tool for propaganda and recruiting was limited with a low degree of interactivity.
- teachers and school-librarians.
- students (aged 12-18).
- librarians in public libraries.
- pedagogues working with children with intellectual or cognitive disabilities (through an easy-to-read version).
European Commission (DG JUST): Fundamental rights - Racism and xenophobia.
EU Internet Forum: Launched in December 2015 as a cooperation between DG JUST and DG HOME - European Commission, bringing together governments, Europol and technology companies to counter terrorist content and hate speech online.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights – Hate Crime
UNESCO Conference: Youth and the internet: Fighting radicalisation and extremism - while the conference took place in June 2015, the conference website provides some useful background information.
- BIK team
In celebration of the United Nations International Day of Tolerance which took place on 16 November 2016, here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal we reflect on the issue of tolerance online. During the month of November, we will be focusing on the importance of fostering mutual understanding and respect in the online world, while promoting initiatives to tackle hate speech, cyberbullying and other forms of online abuse.
- BIK team
From policy makers to parents and young people, online extremism is one of the most debated concerns in the international environment. In line with identifying best practices to tackle the issue, various Member States have concluded that education is, once again, key to opening up the minds of children in today's Europe and further avoiding the dissemination of hate speech and radicalisation, while promoting a better understanding of these online risks.
- BIK Coordination Team
Online extremism is an issue which is getting a great deal of attention at present. The fear that young people could be groomed online by violent extremists and terrorists and encouraged to leave their home countries in order to join IS (Islamic State) in Iraq or Syria is a concern, another fear is that, through immersion in violent extremist cyberspaces, vulnerable young people could also be radicalised to carry out attacks in their home countries.
Today we celebrate the International Day of Tolerance, a day which certainly cannot be forgotten especially given the recent tragic events which took place in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
- Austrian Safer Internet Centre
At present, all educators, trainers or other people who work with children and digital technologies face the same situation. Digital media's ever-evolving challenges – such as users' fast changing online behaviour as well as a constant flow of new tools, new internet technologies and new ways of online communication – raise new questions and demand new solutions. Therefore, it is essential for people engaged in Safer Internet trainings to stay up to date and constantly gain expertise in new topics. Online radicalisation and online jihadism are among the most challenging topics from recent months.