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GLOSSARY OF TERMS

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The SMIDGE Project presents its glossary of terms, providing clear definitions of key concepts related to online extremism and misinformation. From understanding hate speech and cognitive bias to exploring the dynamics of radicalization and vulnerability, this resource offers insights into complex digital phenomena. Whether you're a researcher, policymaker or interested individual, our glossary serves as a valuable tool for navigating today's digital landscape.

Antisemitism

A perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.  

Cognitive bias

Distortions that people implement in their evaluations of facts and events and that tend to recreate their own subjective view that does not accurately correspond to reality. It represents how the human brain distorts reality.  

Conspiracy theory

A belief that an event or situation is the result of a secret plan made by powerful people. 

Counter-narrative

Messaging that offers an alternative view to extremist recruitment and propaganda. Messaging can provide an alternative answer or path to potential recruits who may be seeking guidance or meaning. Counter-narrative messaging may also seek to deconstruct extremist narratives and expose logical flaws. 

Disinformation

Purposely created false/misleading information that is meant to manipulate or harm people, places and institutions, typically in pursuit of political, social or financial agendas. 

Echo chambers

Contexts and conditions that, on social media, lead to the creation of a state of ideological isolation of individuals, where news and sources with a confirmatory nature of individuals’ views circulate. 

Extremism

Holding extreme political or religious views, often advocating illegal, violent, or other forms of extreme behaviour. 

Fake news

False stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke.  

Filter bubble

A virtual environment based on a personal ecosystem of information satisfied by algorithms that each user constructs on the Internet through his or her preferred selections, characterised by low permeability to novelty and a high level of self-referentiality.  

Hate speech

Any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group based on who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor. 

Ideology

Set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons. 

Islamophobia

Fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims that lead to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims both in the online and offline world. 

Islamism

The belief in the need to establish a political order organized around sharia (Islamic law). 

Middle-age

Period of human adulthood, between 45-65 years old.  

Misinformation

Dissemination of false or wrong content that does not presuppose any malicious intent. 

Neo-Fascism

Political movement that seeks to establish a racially or ethnically homogeneous society under a leader entrusted with authoritarian power. 

Neo-Nazism

Movement that endorses the racist, fascist, xenophobic ideology of Nazi Germany. Neo-Nazis typically view Jews as their primary enemy.

Online extremism

Beliefs that collectively provide a coherent worldview to support individuals, groups or movements in promoting violence and activities supporting violence. 

Radicalisation

Process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme views in opposition to a political, social or religious status quo, which could lead to acts of terrorism. 

Vulnerability

Conditions brought about by physical, psychological, social, economic, and environmental factors or processes that increase the susceptibility of an individual, community, assets, or systems to the impacts of threats. 

White Supremacy

Belief in the supremacy of the white race over all others. 

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