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Heidi Schulze: “Far-right Radicalization on Telegram? Research Insights from Longitudinal Explorations”
[Neuer Termin]
In 2020, the instant messenger Telegram became the subject of public discourse and concern in the context of COVID19-related conspiracy narratives and far-right movements. And also in 2021, news coverage does not cease: just recently, a team of investigative journalists found one single man to be at the center of infrastructure planning and strategic development of large-scale protest networks on Telegram (incl. the Querdenken movement that is under observation of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution).
But already before, instant messengers in general, and Telegram specifically, were popular communication channels for extremists and terrorists. The US far right had called for a platform change from Discord to Telegram already in 2016. Over the past years, extremist actors have recognized the advantages of instant messengers and increasingly employ them for strategic communication, mobilization, recruitment, dissemination of information.
This talk will elaborate on the role of alternative social media platforms and fringe communities for radical/extremist online communication and discuss recent research results of our investigations and explorations of far-right Telegram channels and groups.
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