DCU project to target online extremists


DUBLIN CITY University will lead a €5 million research project studying the internet activity of violent political extremists.

The project, called Vox-Pol, which has received €5.1 million in European grant funding, will eventually lead to the development of a multidisciplinary virtual centre of excellence for research in violent online political extremism.

Dr Maura Conway of DCU’s School of Law and Government will lead a team of international researchers to study the internet activities of violent jihadists, nationalist-separatists and extreme right groups.

Universities in England, the US the Netherlands and institutions in Hungary, Germany and India will also be involved.

Vox-Pol will explore the various forms of extremism and their effects. The research findings will aim to ensure EU and national policies to target violent online political extremism “are based on concrete evidence, experience and knowledge of online extremism”.

Contemporary violent political extremists worked to reach a much wider audience than they previously had access to, Dr Conway said. VOX-Pol will bring researchers together to “tackle some of the major underexplored topics” in internet extremism.