Two of the research streams focus on the online, investigating how a technical, ideational and legal framework is being created to encourage certain uses while discouraging others, and analysing actual messages disseminated online. Another two research streams will focus on offline implications of social media, grounding their use in the everyday politics and practices in conflict-affected societies:
Tactics and Strategies to Shape the Information Environment
Maps the tactics and strategies of different actors (e.g. companies, governments, international organizations, terrorist groups) in conflict settings as they use and respond to the increasing importance of social media, and how they may attempt to extend or restrict their use. This WP focuses on efforts to shape the information environment in ways that can favour specific uses of the Internet and social media, while discouraging others.
Conflict and Peace Online
Analyses the online dimensions of conflict, its calls for offline actions (such as calls for violence, encouraging peace or promoting political agendas) and how social media are changing (either empowering or disempowering) who has a voice in conflict. It focuses on developing innovative methods for looking at hate speech online.
Local Governance: Power and Resilience
Identifies patterns and changes in how different actors are innovating to use social media to extend power and influence and affect violence, governance, security and justice in areas of conflict.
Migration: Opportunities for Exit and Entry
Works towards understanding whether and how social media are changing the networks and opportunities for exit from, and entry to, conflict-affected communities. This includes refugees fleeing violence as well as individuals returning to participate in conflicts or contribute to peace.