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Centre for Computational Social Science (C2S2)/IDSAI - Joint Seminar

An exploration of the incelopshere and how incels fit into the current self-initiated terrorists (SITs) landscape with Dr Lewys Brace

Event details

C2S2 and IDSAI would like to invite you to the first in a joint seminar series that looks at the applications of data science and machine learning methods in research from across the University.


Over the past years, acts of violence inspired by “incel” ideas –either directly or partially as part of “Mixed, Unclear, Unstable” (MMU) ideologies –have become regular occurrences in North America, Canada, and more recently, the UK, fuelling a growing concern and uncertainty over this online subculture and its offline impact. Debates about the exact nature of the phenomenon, crucially whether there is such a thing as an incel “ideology” and whether it constitutes a form of extremism, have inevitably appeared as law-enforcement have attempted to prosecute acts like Minassian’s van rampage in Canada or Friel’s preparation of an attack in Scotland with the “right” legal categories. Previous academic work looking at the incel phenomenon has provided important initial insights into the incel worldview and narratives. However, most of the existing research has, arguably suffered from a one-dimensional approach; usually focusing on a single online space and with little consideration for evolution across time. This talk will present the results of a data-driven analysis of multiple online spaces hosting incel content that built upon this previous work by utilising more dynamic approaches offering diachronic cross-platform analysis in order to construct a sophisticated appraisal of violent extremism in the incelosophere.