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Uncovering the wider structure of extreme right communities spanning popular online networks

13 May 2013
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Abstract

Recent years have seen increased interest in the online presence of extreme right groups. Although originally composed of dedicated websites, the online extreme right milieu now spans multiple networks, including popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Ideally therefore, any contemporary analysis of online extreme right activity requires the consideration of multiple data sources, rather than being restricted to a single platform.

We investigate the potential for Twitter to act as one possible gateway to communities within the wider online network of the extreme right, given its facility for the dissemination of content. A strategy for representing heterogeneous network data with a single homogeneous network for the purpose of community detection is presented, where these inherently dynamic communities are tracked over time. We use this strategy to discover and analyze persistent English and German language extreme right communities.

Authored by Derek O’Callaghan, Derek Greene, Maura Conway, Joe Carthy and Padraig Cunningham.

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2013
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