Assessing Outcomes of Online Campaigns Countering Violent Extremism: A Case Study of the Redirect Method

Assessing Outcomes of Online Campaigns Countering Violent Extremism: A Case Study of the Redirect Method. Rand Corporation. Todd C. Helmus, Kurt Klein. December 10, 2018.

The number of programs dedicated to countering violent extremism (CVE) has grown in recent years, yet a fundamental gap remains in the understanding of the effectiveness of such programs. This is particularly the case for CVE campaigns, which are increasingly conducted in the online space. The goal of this report is to help CVE campaign planners better evaluate the impact of online efforts. It reviews prior assessments of online CVE campaigns, provides recommendations for future assessments, and provides a case study of one particular CVE campaign — the Redirect Method. A limited evaluation of the Redirect Method process variables suggests that the implementers are able to use advertisements linking to counter-extremist videos to effectively expose individuals searching for violent jihadist or violent far-right content to content that offers alternative narratives. Users clicked on these ads at a rate on par with industry standards. However, as is the case with other CVE evaluations, this partial evaluation did not assess the impact of the video content on user attitudes or behavior. The potentially highly radical nature of the Redirect Method’s target audience makes evaluation of the campaign particularly complicated and therefore might necessitate the recruitment of former extremists to help gauge audience response. Alternatively, it might be advisable to analyze user comments to understand how a subsample of users respond to the content. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages].

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Helping Kids and Families Cope With Violence: Safe Start Promising Approaches

Helping Kids and Families Cope With Violence: Safe Start Promising Approaches. RAND Corporation. Dana Schultz et al. March 30, 2017.

Although rates of children’s exposure to violence have been declining in the United States, the problem remains extensive. The most recent study found that more than half of children in a national sample had been exposed to violence in the past year. Children who have been abused or witnessed violence are more likely than other children to develop mental health problems and engage in risky behaviors. Some of these problems can persist into adulthood. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 88.27 KB].

Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities

Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities. Urban Institute. Samuel Bieler et al. April 28, 2016.

Gun violence inflicts a devastating toll on communities of color, but the justice system response to this violence frequently destabilizes neighborhoods and damages police-community relations. The report shows that violence prevention demands a holistic set of solutions. Limiting access to firearms is part of the solution, but a comprehensive strategy will also require improving police-community relations, investing in community services, and facilitating community leadership in violence prevention efforts. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 67 pages, 947.6 KB].

In Syrian War, Peace, Politics and Possibilities Are a Local Affair

In Syrian War, Peace, Politics and Possibilities Are a Local Affair. U.S. Institute of Peace. Osama Gharizi. October 2015.

While the mass bloodshed of Syria’s civil war so far has spared many Kurdish and Arab farming villages in Syria’s far northeast, the war has exacerbated communal tensions there. So recently, 14 religious, tribal and civic leaders from one locality traveled to neighboring Iraq for talks to ease those tensions and prevent an outbreak of violence. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Hamas Seen as More to Blame Than Israel for Current Violence: Deep Partisan Divide in Reactions to Mideast Fighting

Hamas Seen as More to Blame Than Israel for Current Violence: Deep Partisan Divide in Reactions to Mideast Fighting. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. July 28, 2014.

As fighting continues to rage in Gaza amid calls for a cease-fire, about twice as many Americans say Hamas (40%) as Israel (19%) is responsible for the current violence. Just a quarter (25%) believe that Israel has gone too far in responding to the conflict; far more think Israel’s response has been about right (35%) or that it has not gone far enough (15%). The survey, conducted July 24-27 among 1,005 adults, finds substantial partisan divisions over which side is most responsible for the violence and Israel’s response to the conflict. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 735.54 KB].

Most Think the U.S. Has No Responsibility To Act in Iraq

Most Think the U.S. Has No Responsibility To Act in Iraq. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. July 18, 2014.

As violence and chaos spreads in Iraq, the public is wary of U.S. involvement in the country. A 55% majority says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the violence in Iraq; 39% do see a responsibility to act. Overall public awareness of the situation in Iraq is high: 45% say they have heard a lot about the violence in Iraq and takeover of large parts of the country by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 419.67 KB].

Gaza and Israel: New Obstacles, New Solutions

Gaza and Israel: New Obstacles, New Solutions. International Crisis Group. July 14, 2104.

To break the violent impasse, Israel must change its policy toward Hamas and work toward a lasting ceasefire, recognising how much its own stability depends on the stability of Gaza, says to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages, 1.33 MB].