New Release: Rethinking Social Media and Extremism

New Release: Rethinking Social Media and Extremism
Tuesday 28 June 2022

Rethinking Social Media and Extremism

Edited by: Emeritus Professor Shirley Leitch and Professor Paul Pickering 

Published by ANU Press, 2022

Publication date: June 2022

SeriesAustralia and the World


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Terrorism, global pandemics, climate change, wars and all the major threats of our age have been targets of online extremism. The same social media occupying the heartland of our social world leaves us vulnerable to cybercrime, electoral fraud and the ‘fake news’ fuelling the rise of far-right violence and hate speech. In the face of widespread calls for action, governments struggle to reform legal and regulatory frameworks designed for an analogue age. And what of our rights as citizens? As politicians and lawyers run to catch up to the future as it disappears over the horizon, who guarantees our right to free speech, to free and fair elections, to play video games, to surf the Net, to believe ‘fake news’?

Rethinking Social Media and Extremism offers a broad range of perspectives on violent extremism online and how to stop it. As one major crisis follows another and a global pandemic accelerates our turn to digital technologies, attending to the issues raised in this book becomes ever more urgent.

About Editors

Emeritus Professor Shirley Leitch is a Professorial Fellow at The Australian Studies Institute at The Australian National University. She was formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education & Global Education at ANU, and Dean at the ANU College of Business & Economics. In 2011, The Guardian named Professor Leitch one of the top 10 social media influencers in Australian higher education for her blog and Twitter posts from @ShirleyLeitch. She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and held more than $5 million in national competitive grants. She has undertaken senior advisory roles for government and industry and contributed to numerous government reviews. Professor Leitch’s research is focused on public discourse and change, including engagement and communication in relation to controversial science. Her current projects include a book on social media, commissioned by Routledge, and an Australian Research Council Discovery project on the communication strategies of the mining industry. Her previous roles in Australia and New Zealand include Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at Swinburne University, Dean of Commerce at the University of Wollongong and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Public Affairs at the University of Waikato. She also held academic posts at the University of Auckland, Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, and is an A-ranked scholar under New Zealand’s Performance-Based Research Fund research assessment system. At Swinburne University she led the Socially Sustainable Technologies Flagship in the Institute of Social Research and was the founding chair of Online Education Services Ltd, a successful joint venture with online employment and education business SEEK Ltd.

Professor Paul Pickering is Director of the Australian Studies Institute (2017-) and a Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations, Research School of Social Sciences. Prior to taking up his current posts Paul has undertaken numerous roles at ANU, including Director of the Research School of Humanities and the Arts (2012-21), a term as Dean of the College of Arts and Social Sciences (2014-16), inaugural Director of the ANU Centre for European Studies (2010-12); Director of Graduate Studies (2004-9) and a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre (2000-4). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision. His books include Chartism and the Chartists in Manchester and Salford (1995); The People's Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League(2000) (with Alex Tyrrell); Friends of the People: Uneasy Radicals in the Age of the Chartists(London, 2003); Contested Sites: Commemoration, Memorial and Popular Politics in Nineteenth Century Britain (2004); Unrespectable Radicals? Popular Politics in the Age of Reform (2007); Feargus O'Connor: A Political Life (2008) and Historical Reenactment: From Realism to the Affective Turn (2010). His latest book (with Kate Bowan), Sounds of Liberty: Music, Radicalism and Reform in the Anglophone World, 1790-1914, was published in August 2017. His articles have been published by leading journals, both in Australia and overseas. Paul’s current book project is From ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ to the ‘Manchester Miracle’: the politics of urban-industrial heritage in Britain, which will be published by Routledge in 2021 He has held numerous fellowships: in 2012 he was a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Edinburgh; in 2014 he was an Andrew Mellon Research Fellow at the Huntington Library in California, and a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at Newcastle University in England. In 2015 he was a Visiting Research Professor at St. Andrews University and in 2016 Professeur invité à l'Université Paris-Sorbonne IV. In 2018 he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Durham University.

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Rethinking Social Media and Extremism »

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  1. Rethinking social media and extremism (PDF, 0.1MB) – Shirley Leitch and Paul Pickering doi
  2. The making of a ‘made for social media’ massacre (PDF, 0.2MB) – Shirley Leitch doi
  3. Becoming civic actors (PDF, 0.2MB) – Sally Wheeler doi
  4. Hate the player, not the game: Why did the Christchurch shooter’s video look like a game? (PDF, 0.2MB) – Robert Fleet doi
  5. Brand lone wolf: The importance of brand narrative in creating extremists (PDF, 0.2MB) – Andrew Hughes doi
  6. ‘Clumsy and flawed in many respects’: Australia’s abhorrent violent material legislation (PDF, 0.2MB) – Mark Nolan and Dominique Dalla-Pozza doi
  7. Coarse and effect: Normalised anger online as an essential precondition to violence (PDF, 0.1MB) – Mark Kenny doi
  8. Performances of power – the site of public debate (PDF, 0.1MB) – Katrina Grant doi
  9. Crisis, what crisis? (PDF, 0.2MB) – Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller and Paul Pickering doi


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