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Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists

Friday 6 March 2020
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Spaanse Trap

On 6 March, counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner will present her latest book on extremism: Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists. For this book, Julia Ebner went undercover to infiltrate extremist organizations like the Generation Identity, the Trad Wives movement and the Terror Agency Sister group, a women-only group for supporters of Islamic State.

Going Dark

Going Dark

Going Dark reveals how extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum use technology for propaganda, on-line recruitment, mobilisation and intimidation tactics. 'The radicalisation engines that today’s extremists are building are cutting edge: artificially intelligent, emotionally manipulative and socially powerful,' Ebner writes in the introduction.

Ebner’s focus is on the digital methods used by extremists from different political and religious affiliations.  She analyses the ‘gamification’ of extremist narratives: by adopting the language of gamers, the lines between fantasy and reality become dangerously blurred among perpetrators and sympathisers. Ebner anticipates a near future in which Artifical Intelligence tools bolster online extremist campaigns with 'deepfakes' – fake newspaper articles and audio and film footage that has been seamlessly doctored.

About the speaker

Julia Ebner is a research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London, a counter-extremism organisation founded in 2006 with a focus on combating the spread of propaganda, hate speech and disinformation online. Her first book, The Rage (2018), was about the reciprocal relationship between far-right and Muslim extremists and how, she says, 'each exploits the fears that the other side provokes'.


12:00 hrs Introduction by Jelle van Buuren

12:15 hrs Lecture 'Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists' by Julia Ebner

13:00 - 13:45 hrs Q&A


This event is organised by the Institute of Security and Global Affairs and is open for to everyone who is interested.

Please register for this event via this form.

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