Examining the Behaviors and Characteristics of Terrorists and Extremists On and Off-line

The American Society of Criminology (ASC) Annual Meeting will be held in Philadelphia on 15-18 November, 2017. Ryan Scrivens will be part of panel on “Examining the Behaviors and Characteristics of Terrorists and Extremists On and Off-line.” He will also give a presentation titled “Searching for the Right Stuff: Identifying Radical Users in Online Discussion Forums”.

For more information about the American Society of Criminology, see

Necrophilic Empathy in Cervantes’ La Numancia

Grimposium creator and SOMEONE director Vivek Venkatesh will be speaking alongside his Concordia collaborator Brad Nelson on the concept of ‘necrophilic empathy’ which refers to society’s fixation with the arduous consumption of death and dystopia in an accelerated era of social media. For more information of the “Apocalyptic Imagination in Early Modern Spain” event being held on November 14, click here.

(Photo credit: Vivek Venkatesh)

TSAS Workshop Series: ‘Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats’ (CREST) Researchers

Ryan Scrivens will be giving a presentation titled “Broadening our Understanding of Anti-Authoritarian Movements in Canada” at a TSAS workshop on October 30 in Ottawa. The workshop will present 11 speakers from the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), which is a national hub for understanding, countering and mitigating security threats in the United Kingdom. Speakers will also include those from TSAS. 

For more information click here.

UQAM conference “Media and Terrorism: East-West Dialogue”

UQAM is hosting an international conference titled « Médias et Terrorisme : dialogue Orient-Occident » on 6 October at 455 Boulevard René-Lévesque E, Montreal, QC H2L 4Y2.

Download the program here (pdf).

New Member of the Someone Team

Ryan Scrivens was recently awarded a Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Concordia University, and he is the newest member of Project SOMEONE. Ryan will be working with the Director and Principal Investigator, Vivek Venkatesh, to build resilience against hatred and radicalization leading to violent extremism, both on- and offline. His primary research interests include: right-wing extremism, hate/bias crime, countering violent extremism, and research methods and methodology.

Ryan has been studying right-wing extremism for the past six years and was co-author of a three-year study – funded by Public Safety Canada – on the right-wing extremist movement in Canada, which involved interviews with Canadian law enforcement, community activists, and right-wing activists. This study was well-received by scholars, policy-makers, and practitioners, and thus garnered him a national and international reputation as a leading expert on right-wing extremism in Canada. His work has been covered by an array of national and international media sources in the past year, including BBC News, The New York Times, Vice News, CBC News, The Globe and Mail, and National Post. He’s also presented his findings before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), and the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) in Singapore.

Prior to his postdoctoral appointment, Ryan completed a PhD in Criminology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), with an emphasis on how extremists use the Internet. For his dissertation, Ryan used computational tools to analyze the sentiment found in an online community of the radical right through a Big Data analysis and a mixed-methods approach. The purpose of this research was threefold: (1) provide insight into what constitutes radical posting behaviour online; (2) shed light on authors’ posting behaviours and associated patterns that may contribute to their broader collective identity, and; (3) enhance some of the machine learning tools that have been commonly used to analyze Big Data. Ryan also completed an MA in Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), studying the theoretical and pragmatic complexities of policing hate crime through in-depth interviews with Canadian law enforcement officials.

His blend of theoretical knowledge of right-wing extremism, hate crime and diversity issues, paired with a mixed-methods approach to understanding online extremism, will complement the existing skills that are found on the project.

Symposium “Islamophobia towards Muslim women. Undeniable reality, questionable concept … “

Vivek Venkatesh and Tieja Thomas will give a lecture titled “Analyzing Online Discourses of Islamophobia in Relation to Canadian Citizenship”, at the symposium “Islamophobia towards Muslim women. Undeniable reality, questionable concept … ” at the University of Laval, 14th September, 2017.

program here

Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence funds project to combat hate

Today, Member of Parliament Marc Miller (on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) announced investment from the Community Resilience Fund to support Project SOMEONE (Social Media Education Every Day) to combat hate in Canada.

Back row, left to right: Marc Miller MP; Nicole Fournier-Sylvester; Vivek Venkatesh; Justin Powlowski.

Front row, left to right: Jihan Rabah; Kathryn Urbaniak; Juan Carlos-Castro.

(Photo credit: Concordia University. All rights reserved.)

To read more see here.

How we can build resilience against hatred in Canada?

Ryan Scrivens wrote an opinion piece in the Globe and Mail on 21 August, 2017 on building resilience again hatred. To read more see here.

Researchers aim to fight hate speech by listening, not censoring

Karen-Luz Sison (Carlton University’s The Charlatan) interviewed Tieja Thomas in March, 2017. To read the article click here: “Researchers aim to fight hate speech by listening not censoring”.


Learning with social media

Juan Carlos Castro spoke with Karl Rettino-Parazelli (Devoir) on 4 July, 2017 about his research in education and social media.

Photo credit: Annik MH de Carufel Le Devoir

Read the full article here (in French):