- 21 December 2022
- Generaldirektoratet for Migration og Indre Anliggender
- RAN Publications Topic
- Internet and radicalisation
This RAN cross-cutting event brought together practitioners, policymakers and researchers to explore the online dimension of extremism and corresponding preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) efforts, find a shared understanding of challenges across the stakeholder community, and take stock of available monitoring tools and P/CVE interventions in the digital world.
This paper presents the input of and discussions between participants at the meeting, including inspiring practices and lessons learned from the different stakeholder groups’ respective experiences, and it underlines the following main points.
- The online landscape is constantly evolving. Therefore, understanding which platforms the target group is using and what they are currently discussing remains key. Recent examples and inspiring practices can be found in this paper.
- When it comes to systematic monitoring, content classification and threat analysis online, there is a continuous need for human oversight to put content into context. Prevention with a human rights and gender lens also requires the reduction of algorithmic or automatic AI-tracking systems and their replacement with more nuanced mechanisms or combining their application with human or manual monitoring.
- With regard to online P/CVE interventions, several developments can be identified and leveraged, such as:
- using online alternative narratives instead of counternarratives;
- creating referral processes, including digital opportunities for people to seek support (‘self-referral’);
- using online advertising to redirect users away from extremist content; and
- the need to keep adapting media literacy approaches to new target groups as a non-confrontational and non-securitised approach focused on critical thinking, cognitive biases, communication skills and emotional resilience.
- Various challenges in the field relate specifically to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Various privacy as well as ethical issues have raised concerns among practitioners as they seek to develop P/CVE interventions and activities online. Due to a missing legal and ethical framework, guidelines and trainings on ethical, legal and GDPR boundaries as well as on the mental well-being of practitioners are necessary.