Digital battlefield


  • Lisa Kaati
  • Katie Asplund Cohen
  • Nazar Akrami
  • Amendra Shrestha
  • Johan Fernquist
  • Björn Pelzer
  • Frej Welander
  • Tim Isbister

Publish date: 2019-10-24

Report number: FOI-R--4813--SE

Pages: 75

Written in: Swedish


  • radical nationalism
  • antisemitism
  • dehumanisation
  • digital environments


This report presents research carried out within the project that has been assigned to the Swedish Defence Research Agency by the Swedish Government (Ku2016/01373/D and Ju2018/01298/KRIM). Recently, several attacks have been carried out around the world by perpetrators who have been inspired by radical nationalist ideologies. In many cases, the perpetrator has been active in digital environments prior to the attack, where they have also sometimes published a declaration of intent. In this report, we offer an insight into how radical nationalist ideologies are expressed within digital environments. Our studies cover environments with a clear ideological profile, as well as some of the free speech-environments that tend to attract individuals who sympathize with radical nationalist views. We also study how the Internet troll-culture - with its use of sarcasm and innuendo - is utilized by users of radical nationalist digital media, both to manipulate political opponents, and to avoid personal responsibility for hate speech and incitement of violence. Hate speech, conspiracy theories and dehumanization are some of the methods used to assign traits to groups and individuals making them legitimate targets of violence. In these environments, there is also a culture of glorification of terrorists and assailants.