Baseline monitoring of the periphery of religious-based extremism on YouTube and TikTok

The five building blocks of monitoring

Since 2019, modus|zad has been developing structures and methods for social media monitoring and accelerated knowledge transfer in the field of action Islamism. Digital social spaces are becoming increasingly important in the social behavior of youth and young adults. Extremists have recognized their opportunities here and have succeeded in establishing popular digital social spaces with vital communities. In current prevention and distancing work, these endangering digital social spaces are still largely unknown. However, deeper knowledge of extremist digital places and the specific needs of their target groups is crucial for successful interventions.

The focus is on the internal structures, processes and people in extremist digital social spaces. Their analysis serves as a basis for interpreting current issues, trends, and the behavior of their digital communities. For the necessary accelerated knowledge transfer, modus|zad also develops the appropriate methods, work routines and formats that enable a rapid transfer of knowledge to practice. For example, the modus|zad team is currently publishing very successfully, in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), current reports on extremist online communities with recommendations for prevention practice.

Thus, the modus|zad monitoring|trend analyses are important building blocks in the development of modern digital prevention and dissociation work that can adequately meet the new challenges of a rapidly changing society in the digital age:

Module 1: Long-term systematic analyses of extremist digital social spaces.

This includes the structures, processes, target groups and actors, networks and polarities in German- and English-speaking countries as well as their narratives and strategic communication. In order to be able to evaluate current individual thematic analyses more precisely in terms of their impact and significance (see module 2), modus|zad analyzes them as phenomena of more comprehensive, long-term structures and processes in terms of content and time.

Module 2: Current, event-oriented monitoring and trend analyses

Analyses of current topics, trends and campaigns of extremist actors as well as the behavior and interests of digital communities in the context of the findings of module 1.

Module 3: Formats of accelerated knowledge transfer and dialog between practice and science

… as modules of a future hybrid prevention and dissociation work in a mediated society:

  • Accelerated knowledge transfer through promptly information between research and practice. Development and testing of appropriate formats for comprehensible dissemination (e.g. bpb basic monitoring reports).
  • Digital information, exchange and training formats in intensive dialogue with questions and needs of practice (InnovationLabs, Web Talk formats).
  • Consulting on the design and modification of projects.

Module 4: Phenomena overarching criteria shape the analytical concept.

This provides an analytical basis for comparative, cross-phenomena research on extremism and radicalization processes.

Module 5: Work in progress

Ongoing expansion and maintenance of the database, further development of analysis methods and knowledge transfer modules, and expansion of monitoring to include relevant sources of information.