NPP Analysis on Extremism Periphery & Handouts

The modus|zad monitoring team compiled information and success factors to support online content producers in the conception, development and production of new web video formats as part of the German government’s “National Prevention Program against Islamist Extremism” (NPP). The analysis was commissioned by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB). Based on the results of the analysis, a five-part series of papers was subsequently produced, which is also available on the BpB website under “Randbereiche des Extremismus auf YouTube” (Fringe areas of extremism on YouTube).

Problem: Effective online prevention

Web video formats rely on comprehensive information about the respective online culture and its target audience to develop viable messages, alternative interpretive models, and strengthen users’ judgment and discourse skills. In the dissemination of extremist content, the video portal YouTube occupies a central position among social media platforms. For example, YouTube offerings are increasingly becoming the central medium for adolescents and young adults for information relevant to everyday life and politics. Islamist groups have long recognized this trend and use YouTube in particular to influence their target groups and spread their propaganda quickly and effectively. The channels of extremist groups also show increasing technical and editorial professionalization.

Procedure in the NPP Analysis Project

The NPP analysis is based on the database built up in the ABAT monitoring project and quantitative and qualitative analyses specially developed for evaluation. Thus, the NPP analysis provides information on significant actors, current trends, popular narratives, and new insights into online strategies of extremist channels. The analyses are supported by the results of several interdisciplinary viewing workshops with consultants in the field of extremism prevention. In parallel to the exchange of experiences with practitioners of prevention work and monitoring, the current state of research was also reviewed as a third pillar of the analysis.

The summarized findings and recommendations of this NPP analysis are geared in particular to the development of online educational offerings in the fields of action of general and selective prevention. Based on the NPP analysis, the interdisciplinary monitoring team of modus|zad wrote five handouts for practitioners of prevention work on behalf of the BpB.

The project “NPP Analysis & Handouts” is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB).