Challenging Extremist Views on Social Media: Developing a Counter-Narrative Response

1st Edition

Jan Jaap van Eerten, Bertjan Doosje

June 15, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 200 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367253158 - CAT# K424141

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This book is a timely and significant examination of the role of the use of counter-narratives via social media as a potential means to prevent radicalization of potentially susceptible individuals, or to de-radicalize people with radical beliefs.

In recent years, extremist groups have developed increasingly sophisticated online communication strategies to spread their propaganda and promote their narratives, enabling messages to be spread more rapidly and effectively. To attempt to neutralise these online radicalizing influences, one of the most important initiatives has been the use of counter-narrative projects: strategic communication efforts that aim to undermine the appeal of the narratives of violent extremist groups by challenging them or presenting an alternative that displaces them. Focusing predominantly on Salafi-Jihadi narratives, the text examines how different audiences are targeted across the radicalization spectrum, from ‘upstream’ (efforts focused on prevention) to ‘downstream’ audiences (for de-radicalization). The authors provide both a comprehensive theoretical overview and a review of the available literature, as well as policy recommendations for governments and the role they can play in counter-narrative efforts.

The first book to critically examine the possibilities and pitfalls of using counter-narratives to prevent radicalization or stimulate de-radicalization, this is essential reading for policy makers and professionals dealing with this issue, as well as researchers in the field.


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