Direct engagement with individuals showing signs of radicalisation online
Extremist groups deploy a clear strategy for radicalising and recruiting new supporters online: marketing their ideas through the spread of propaganda and then engaging interested individuals in direct, private messaging to recruit new members to their causes.
Until now, online prevention efforts have largely focused either on the removal of terrorist content or on the production and dissemination of counter-narrative and counter-speech campaigns to compete with extremist propaganda. However, there have been no systematised attempts to supplement counter-speech efforts with direct online messaging and engagement at scale.
This report, published by the London based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, outlines the results of a programme trialling a methodology for identifying individuals who are demonstrating signs of radicalisation on social media, and engaging these individuals in direct, personalised and private ‘counter-conversations’ for the purpose of de-radicalisation from extremist ideology and disengagement from extremist movements. This is the first programme globally which has trialled the delivery of online interventions in a systematised and scaled fashion.