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Data-mining the far-right

Sat 1 Feb, 2020 : 14:00 - 15:15

The problematic spread of far-right agitation online hardly needs any further introduction. but how are we to make sense of these movements? Theoretically incoherent, spread out over millions of social media posts, and often moving in memes rather than regular discourse, coming to terms with what is going on in the brown corners of the internet can be a daunting challenge.

Though of course no substitute for more traditional research methods, adding data analysis to the antifascist toolbox can help to shed some light in these matters. Network analysis, natural language processing, and creative database queries can help to identify different communities within the far-right and how they relate to each other. they can provide a ‘distant reading’ of vast amounts of posts, revealing glimpses of the topics that are discussed and the rhetoric that is used.

During the presentation, various techniques for both collecting and analysing data will be shown. Datasets from both an alt-right and a neo-nazi platform will be used to showcase the kind of results and interpretations these techniques can afford.


Sat 1 Feb, 2020
14:00 - 15:15
2.Dh5 Festival:
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Studio (BAK)
Pauwstraat 13A
Utrecht, Netherlands



The PUSCII started as a group running a public Internet workspace in 1998 from a spare space in their squat in the center of Utrecht. From its founding, the main goal was for helping activists, fellow squatters, and just random people to use all of the then new technologies of the internet, and do so freely - that is, both at no cost, and without censorship. This served as a completely open social and public space, providing free internet access to anybody who wanted to use it, up until 2005. At this point, we had to leave the squat we had been using, and move to a new location - a new squat, directly next to the Utrecht train station. From there we continued our social function of public internet and we provided space for several hacker workshops (wireless antennae building, etc.) which we shared with equally minded people from a different social project, the "Weggeefwinkel" (Literally: Giveaway shop). In 2007 disaster struck, and we got evicted again. Several attempts have been made to lay claim on a new building, but none lasted longer then two weeks. Luckily, this did not impede us as a group and the virtual projects as well as ad-hoc irl sessions are still happening.
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Presentation + Q&A