Policy Brief: From Pilots to Practice: Risk-informed utilization of online data for preventing violent extremism and addressing hate speech

Societies across the world are increasingly intertwined in the online sphere, with some individuals and groups leveraging this growing globalised networking architecture for harm, including to spread violent extremist (VE) propaganda. Indeed, the web acts as an indispensable tool for VE groups to capitalise on offline grievances to fuel extremist ideologies and incite violence. At the same time, access to the online space has created opportunities to collect large amounts of data and gain contextual insights into potential drivers of violent extremism and existing VE narratives, including hate speech. Such understanding can be utilized to better target programmes that aim to prevent the appeal of VE.

The Policy Brief and accompanying Guidance Note on utilizing online data to prevent violent extremism and hate speech apply the lessons learned from UNDP practitioners working on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) across seven country offices by undertaking pilot projects that collect, analyse and apply online data to their programming. The Policy Brief outlines the major structural, technical, and ethical challenges faced by the practitioners, analyses relevant existing policy frameworks, and explores the potential of human rights-compliant data driven methods to inform PVE programming by offering policy considerations and recommendations to decision-makers. The Guidance Note offers an overview of key processes, tools, and resources for practitioners to consider when utilizing online data for PVE and addressing hate speech. It promotes risk management as an inherently enabling process for enhancing the evidence base for PVE programming.

Geographical Scope: Global

Region: Global

Country: Global

Theme of Research: The Online World and Hate Speech

Year Published: 2022

Language: English

Responsible Entity: UNDP HQ