Digital Methods Initiative, Amsterdam presents:

What does the Internet add?

Studying extremism and counter‐jihadism online

A symposium

15 March, 15-17hrs
Universiteitstheater, Room 3.01
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16
1012 CP Amsterdam

All welcome (together with our student and faculty guests from the University of Oxford)

The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) at the University of Amsterdam has put together a multi part project looking at the ways in which digital research methods can be applied to explore the Internet and its part in extremism. Professor Richard Rogers, Director of the DMI, together with Matthew Elworthy and Maya Livio (International MA students in New Media & Digital Culture), are heading up a group of academics and students conducting this project.

At the symposium five of the project's components will be presented, including:

1. What Can Amazon Add? Reading the Counter­‐Jihad Discourse
This study seeks to explore how the repurposing of the Amazon Kindle's 'Popular Highlights' feature can improve our understanding of the readers of counter‐jihadist literature. By taking user highlights as markers of importance, this project seeks to determine the types of arguments that this movement's audience specifically find compelling.

2. Analysis of the Most Popular Content on an Anti­‐Islamic Facebook Page
Through an analysis of the content most engaged with on an anti‐Islamic Facebook page, this project seeks to understand what type of content is most popular with Facebook users, and whether specific themes and narratives are being explored within the content posted. If so, how are these narratives being successfully constructed?

3. My Enemy's Enemy is my Friend? Mapping & Comparing Counter‐Jihad and Pro-­Israel Support on Social Networks
To what extent do the social media user bases of counter-­‐jihad and pro-­‐Israel support groups overlap, and how can these groups be characterised further? This project seeks to nuance the commonalities and differences between the two issue spaces, in terms of followership and user activity.

4. Mapping Connections Between Organisations in Europe
This study attempts to map and profile organisations and users on Facebook, in order to understand the nature of the European counter-­‐jihad 'network'. Are different anti-­‐Islamic organisations working in cohesion with one another, or do they operate mainly within the borders of their own countries, or even within the borders of their own group? Indeed, can these organisations be considered 'groups', or are they made up of isolated individuals?

5. Islam, Hate, and the Mainstream Internet: A Cross Cultural Study of Actors and Sentiment on Google
How 'close' is hate content to the user online? By querying keywords related to Islam on local Google domains, the study measures the proximity of extremist content to Internet users who are not necessarily searching for it. The employment of local Google domains enables the sentiment being disseminated by the popular search engine to be grounded to specific countries.

The session concludes with a Q&A panel on how to study social media data with the project presenters together with Erik Borra and Dr. Bernhard Rieder. The project is a product of the International Data Sprint & Workshop, January 2013,

The 2013 Digital Methods Summer School is also dedicated to social media data analysis. For information and application instructions, see

The Digital Methods Initiative, Amsterdam, is a project of New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam, and the Foundation, developers of the Issue Crawler and other tools. DMI is also a research project at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam.
Topic revision: r1 - 12 Mar 2013, RichardRogers
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