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Civil Society and Counter Narrative Strategies: Counter-Radicalization Online

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Title: Civil Society and Counter-Narrative Strategies: Counter-Radicalization Online Author: Lucia Santabarbara graduated from the Master’s Degree in InternationalRelations and Diplomatic Affairs at the University of Bologna in June 2020 with a thesis written in collaboration with the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Herzliya (IL), analyzing “The Collaboration Between Social Media and Governments to Tackle the Lone Wolves’ Radicalization Online.” She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Naples – Federico II and has had several experiences studying and working abroad. Her research interests include online radicalization, CVE practices, CT analysis and initiatives, and climate change and terrorism, with a particular focus on Jihadist extremism. Currently, she is a Trainee at Frontex – Situation Centre Division. 

Abstract: The spread of hate messages online perpetrated by terrorist and extremist groups represents one of the biggest threats that has caught the attention of governments, security forces, and national and international experts. Relevant contributions to countering hate speech and terrorist narratives online have been made by national governments, international organizations, and members of civil society. The various initiatives implemented have had private and public sponsors, but have also often been spontaneous and voluntary, aimed at making the world a better place. The objective of this analysis is to illustrate how the implementation of counter-narrative practices perpetrated by members of civil society is crucial to discouraging individuals surfing the Internet from consuming terrorist content available online. Moreover, such efforts are critical in combating online radicalization by lone wolves.