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After Christchurch: Mapping Online Right-Wing Extremists

When Australian man Brenton Tarrant conducted a mass shooting terror attack last year at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, guns were not his only weapon. Before commencing, he posted links to a Facebook live-stream of the attack, while also uploading a self-penned manifesto onto 8chan’s “/pol” board. As Tarrant killed 51 people and wounded 49, he had effectively weaponised social media platforms in order to broadcast the propaganda to a global online audience.

In the wake of this international terrorist incident, researchers from Macquarie University in Sydney, in collaboration with Associate Professor Debra Smith, Dr. Mario Peucker and Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, at Victoria University in Melbourne, mined and analysed data from six social media platforms to examine the spread of right-wing extremist sentiment across New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, where Tarrant had lived before travelling in Europe. A mixed-method research design was created to investigate what had been this unstudied online community.

Read more at Global Network on Extremism & Technology

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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