Tag Archives: extremism

How we name our enemy’s ideology really matters

All complex thinking requires language; either words and sentences or symbols and equations. In conflicts we particularly need to think clearly. Our chosen words must pass two critical tests:

A. Have we defined the enemy accurately?
B. Will our words unite “our side” or divide it?

In state warfare, the enemy’s name is normally obvious. On 3 September 1939 Britain’s Prime Minister accurately declared that “this country is at war with Germany.”

We called Germany’s ideology Nazism; Nazi being an abbreviation for National Socialist German Workers Party.

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15 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Another unaffordable item on Labour’s wish list
  • Swinson responds to Tommy Robinson backing Boris Johnson

Lib Dems: Another unaffordable item on Labour’s wish list

Responding to Labour’s plans to part-nationalise BT, Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

It might be a Christmas election, but this is getting silly. Another day, another unaffordable item on the wish list.

Wasting billions of taxpayer funds to nationalise BT, won’t solve the connectivity issues faced by so many of our rural communities. The Labour plan is less open-reach, more overreach.

Liberal Democrats recognise the need for every

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Patrolling the new frontier: Regulating online extremism

A month after the horrific attack in Christchurch, which was live-streamed on Facebook, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said: “It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism.”

We wholeheartedly agree. Neo-Nazi and other far-right material, alongside Islamist and far-left content, spread swiftly on Facebook, with a potential to reach thousands in a matter of hours. Facebook is not alone; Social media platforms have been used by extremists to radicalise and inspire acts of terrorism across the world. Exposure to online extremism is not the sole cause of radicalisation, but in combination with other risk factors, it can weaponise a latent disposition towards terrorist violence.

Preventing online extremism has become a priority for policy-makers in Europe. In the U.K., the Home Office and DCMS have proposed to regulate internet platforms in the Online Harms White Paper, which considers a wide range of harms, including extremism and terrorism.

We offer several recommendations. First, a clear definition of extremist content can prevent uncertainty and over-blocking, and help ensure content is judged consistently by human moderators. Once human moderators have determined something is extremist content, platforms should use hashing technology to screen out known extremist content at the point of upload. One example of such technology is the Counter Extremism Project’s eGlyph – a tool developed by Hany Farid, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley and member of the Counter Extremism Project’s advisory board.

eGlyph is based on ‘robust hashing’ technology, capable of swiftly comparing uploaded content to a database of known extremist images, videos, and audio files, thereby disrupting the spread of such content. We have made this ground-breaking technology available at no cost to organisations wishing to combat online violent extremism.

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Lib Dem pressure wins inquiry into UK extremist funding

The image of Alistair Carmichael looms large on the Guardian’s website this morning. This is connection with his leading the campaign to launch an inquiry into the funding of jihadi and extremist groups operating in the UK.

The report states:

Political pressure on Cameron to investigate extremist revenue streams in the UK has come from the Liberal Democrats who requested the inquiry in exchange for supporting the extension into Syria of British airstrikes against Islamic State.

I think this is referring to the last sentence of the fifth of Tim Farron’s “tests” for supporting Syrian air strikes, which says:

We…call on (the government) to conduct an investigation into foreign funding and support of extremist and terrorist groups in the UK.

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The Independent View: Positively fighting back online

Circuit Bending Orchestra: Lara Grant at Diana Eng's Fairytale FWith the seemingly endless news of global and domestic extremism –  whether about the 250 girls kidnapped in Nigeria, the 500 Britons reportedly waging jihad in Syria, or the worrying allegations made against several Birmingham schools – it is rare that a report devoted to countering extremism should fill us with positivity. However, research released last week by Quilliam about the state of online extremism should encourage us all, not …

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Was Chris Huhne right to say Geert Wilders should be banned from the UK?

As the BBC reports:

A Dutch MP who called the Koran a “fascist book” has been sent back to the Netherlands after attempting to defy a ban on entering the UK. Freedom Party MP Geert Wilders had been invited to show his controversial film – which links the Islamic holy book to terrorism – in the UK’s House of Lords.

But Mr Wilders, who faces trial in his own country for inciting hatred, has been denied entry by the Home Office. He told the BBC it was a “very sad day” for UK democracy.

Interviewed on this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today …

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