www.forum.terror.net: An Examination of Spikes in Online Extremist Activity
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Current literature has extensively noted the sizeable Islamic Extremist online media campaign, but has not studied the relationship of this online world with the violent extremist activities of the actual world, and more importantly, what real world events contribute to activity on these forums. Thus, this thesis examines the relationship between the offline and online world by examining whether these forums are incited by successful terrorist actions whether offensive US actions, measured by drone strikes, contribute to forum activity. Using a regression analysis, this thesis tests for correlation between spikes in post counts from 27 Islamic extremist forums and drone strike occurrences and spikes in global Islamic extremist-caused casualties measured in the Global Terrorism Database. Following the regression, I present three case studies of specific spikes, which examine the drone strikes, terrorist attacks, and forum content during the spike. I find that there is significant correlation between spikes in terrorist-caused casualties and forum posts, but that there is no significant relationship between drone strikes and spikes in forum posts.
DepartmentPublic Policy Studies
CitationSchwenke, Robinson (2014). www.forum.terror.net: An Examination of Spikes in Online Extremist Activity. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8300.
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Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers