FREXO: Far right politics online and societal resilience
The primary aim of the FREXO project is to assess how online media affect both the mobilizing capacity and the broader societal and political impact of far right politics.
The project is a fully comparative study of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and combines two sub-studies that examine how far right extremist groups (WP1) and hyper-partisan alternative media (WP2) produce and distribute content, with two sub-studies that study the impact of far right communication on public opinion (WP3), and the specific impact of far right online hate speech (WP4). FREXO employs a multi-method approach, combining content analysis, network analysis, survey methods and qualitative interviews. A separate WP (5) is dedicated to drawing out the theoretical and practical conclusions from the empirical studies, and to assess implications for the societal resilience of the Scandinavian countries.
The research topics of FREXO are ethically demanding in terms of being politically and normatively sensitive, and concerns for anonymity and data security will be critical in all phases of the project.
A crucial contribution of FREXO will be to study the impact of social media on both the capacity and the effects of far right politics, and to enhance reflection about counter-measures. Such knowledge is relevant to stakeholders such as the police, public officials, civil society organizations, and the media in developing strategies in relation to far right politics online.
FREXO is interdisciplinary, including experts on far right extremism on the one hand, and experts on the public sphere, digital journalism, public opinion and hate speech, on the other, and it is based on cross-institutional cooperation between the Institute for Social Research, Center for Research of Extremism at the University of Oslo, and Oslo Metropolitan University. A strong and active international advisory board will enhance the capacity of the project to contribute to the international research front.