Social media in Africa -A double-edged sword for security and development

Research report Kate Cox, William Marcellino, Jacopo Bellasio, Antonia Ward, Katerina Galai, Sofia Meranto, Giacomo Persi Paoli

UNDP commissioned RAND Europe to undertake a study exploring social media use and online radicalisation in Africa. This is the first publically available study to analyse how social media is used by al- Shabaab, Boko Haram and ISIL to contribute to radicalisation in seven African countries – Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda – by applying lexical and network analysis techniques to primary Twitter data.

UNDP-RAND-Social-Media-Africa-Research-Report_final_3 Oct

The ‘No True Muslim’ Fallacy – How Muslims are intimidated and marginalised for supporting counter-extremism initiatives

by Liam Duffy

Our efforts to counter extremism and terrorism will be ultimately unsuccessful without the support and engagement of Muslim communities in the UK and North America. It is essential therefore, that there is greater awareness of the social (and at times physical) price which Muslims working on these agendas are being forced to pay by Islamists and their political allies and enablers. 

thenotruemuslimfallacy

 

Assessing Outcomes of Online Campaigns Countering Violent Extremism

While the number of programs dedicated to countering violent extremism (CVE) has grown in recent years, a fundamental gap remains in the understanding of the effectiveness of such programs. A 2017 RAND Corporation report documented that only a handful of such programs have been subject to rigorous evaluations of impact (Helmus et al., 2017). Such evaluations are critical because they help ensure that programming funds are dedicated to the most-effective efforts. Evaluations also play a critical role in helping individual programs improve the quality of service provision.

Foreign Fighters: Terrorist Recruitment and Countering
Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs in Minneapolis-St. Paul

The threat of foreign fighter recruitment is greater today than it has ever been. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is proving lethally effective in drawing extremists from around the world to their ranks, and in the United States, ISIL is targeting the Somali-American community in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.
There are more than 40,000 Somali-Americans and immigrants in Minnesota. This growing immigrant community is facing substantial challenges, including weak family structures, lack of education, racism and violent crime. In this mix of chronic community challenges, young people can be unsure of their personal identity, leaving them vulnerable to terrorist recruiters.

THE IMPACT OF
COUNTER-NARRATIVES

The concept of creating counter-narratives1 in order to push back against extremist recruitment and propaganda has become well established in recent years. In practice, however, it has proven difficult to curate this content in a systematic way, target it toward at risk audiences, and – most importantly – measure constructive impact on their behaviour.