Webinar: Studying the impact of extremist propaganda campaigns

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Event Details

4 August 2020 at 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Economics; Econometrics & Business Statistics; General


Presented by Tamar Mitts with Barbara Walter and Gregoire Phillips

Over the past decade, a large number of extremist and hate groups have turned to internet platforms to inspire mass violence. Currently, there is little reliable evidence on how such campaigns radicalize targeted audiences. We illustrate a systematic and scalable way for estimating the effect of online campaigns.

Our method utilizes several machine learning algorithms to detect recruitment messages in online propaganda, identify their dissemination on social media, and quantify the reactions of exposed users. Applying this method to content produced by the Islamic State between 2015 and 2016, we find that propaganda conveying the material, spiritual, and social benefits of joining ISIS increased online support for the group, while content displaying brutal violence decreased endorsement of ISIS across a wide range of videos. Only the group’s most extreme supporters reacted positively to violent propaganda.

SoDa Labs webinar series

The SoDa Labs webinar series provides a platform for researchers around the world to present work that uses novel and alternative data and/or tools from data science and beyond to answer social science questions.

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