Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $449,897)
A project team from Youngstown State University proposes to use the existing big-data project, the Frames of Misinformation, Extremism, and Conspiracism, to measure and examine the content of violent extremist and accelerationist discourse using social-media posts from a group of platforms known to host concentrations of extremist material. The research also attempts to trace connections between this material and historic texts tied to or appropriated by extremist groups.
The purpose of this study is to engage in a frame analysis of contemporary discourse associated with domestic radicalization. The results are then used to launch discussions with professionals outside of law-enforcement and security-related occupations about possible responses to online radicalization threatening their areas. The project has five goals: (1) to quantify the presence, syntactical structure, and sentiment of violent and accelerationist ideas; (2) to establish associations between violent and accelerationist ideas with other thematic frames; (3) to assess the influence of historic texts in the promotion of historic texts in the promotion o fcontemporary violent extremism and accelerationism; (4) to identify patterns and strategies related to the cross-platforming, intergroup convergence, and mainstreaming of extremist language and ideologies; and (5) to launch multidisciplinary discussions of the everyday impact of violent and accelerationist discourse in three topic areas - public health, criminal victimazation, and educational leadership.
Aspects of this project target academics, practitioners in the three specified topic areas, and the general public.
The activities of the project include the Core Study and Community Engagement. The Core Study will be devoted totally to research on the language and ideology of violent extremism ad its historical influences. Community Engagement will dig deper into topics of interest to non-security-related professionals in the three areas. These findings will then be shared with professionals for feedbcak with the intention of identifying information and prevention strategies that they may find in their respective occupations.
Expected outcomes will include a dataset containing coded social-media records used in the study for a period from 2018 to 2026 and related programs, academic papers reporting the results of the frame analyses of violent and accelerationist discourse, including any linkages to historic texts. The Community Engagement component will also result in proposals to address gaps in information and professional education in the three non-security-related areas, some which the members of the project team may pursue after the completion of the research grant. A website will report trends to the general public on a monthly basis. CA/NCF