Virtual radicalization? The use of social media in the right-wing and Salafist-jihadist spectrum and indications for acts of violence

Radical opinions are gaining traction in many Euro­pean states, including Germany. Also the willing­ness to use physical violence has in­creased recently. This becomes especially appa­rent in the Salafist-jihadist and right-wing spectrum where the growing po­tential for violence mani­fests in a series of violent acts and attacks.

Political and religious radi­cali­zation pro­cesses have evolved as every­day phe­no­mena and are debated contro­ver­sially in media, politics and society. Still, not much is known about the favor­able con­ditions that might enable these radi­cali­zation processes. This parti­cularly applies to the role of social media. According to the current state of research, it is unclear whether and which indi­cations for violent acts can be found online and/ or in the real world.

With her dis­sertation project, Manjana Sold focusses on the use of social media during radi­cali­zation pro­cesses and aims to examine how indi­cations for actual acts of violence can be (fore)seen in social media.