Do Researchers Have an Obligation to Report Dangerous Actors?

The Lowy Institute recently conducted a survey of the terrorism and extremism research community regarding research on the role of technology in violent extremism and the state of the research community’s engagement with the technology sector. The survey will form the basis of a more in depth GNET Report that will discuss the survey findings to be published later in the year. One of the questions that was asked of the researchers, but not profiled in the forthcoming report, was “In the course of my research, I have reported dangerous actors or violations of the terms of service by a subject/s of my research to a particular platform.” Of the 112 respondents to this question, 42% indicated that they had done so and 58% responded no, they did not.

Given that many in the terrorism and violent extremism research community have voiced concerns about how extremist and dangerous actors have exploited social media and messaging platforms, it’s interesting to note that a clear majority of the respondents have not reported dangerous actors or violations of the terms of service to social media companies.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism and Technology

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