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On the night of November 19, five people were killed and dozens injured in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ bar in Colorado Springs. The alleged shooter faces hate crime charges. Details continue to emerge, but the attack has exacerbated an already heated discourse. As ISD has noted, LGBTQ+ people in the US and elsewhere are increasingly being slurred as 'groomers' and 'pedophiles', with politicians and commentators invoking old baseless myths to roll back years of progress on rights and acceptance.

ISD found a substantial increase in engagement with posts using the terms 'groomers' and 'pedophiles' in the aftermath of the attack, as well as celebration from accelerationist neo-Nazi groups, and posts sympathetic to the attack from right-wing influencers.
Colorado Springs shooting: The latest in a transnational, upward trend of anti-LGBTQ hate
In the wake of the tragic shooting at a prominent LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, ISD analyst Elise Thomas connects the horrific act of violence to a broader spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hatred being experienced around the world.
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What the UK migrant centre attack tells us about contemporary extremism trends
In October, a 66-year old man allegedly firebombed a migrant processing centre in the English town of Dover. His social media revealed deep entrenchment in a hateful and conspiratorial online world. ISD lays out several key trends emerging from the attack, as well as implications for how counter-terrorism policy must adapt.  
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Can a person declare themselves sovereign from their own country? One conspiratorial movement thinks so. So-called ‘Sovereign Citizens’ believe they are not obliged to adhere to government rule, so much so that the US considers them to be a domestic terror threat.

Anti-government sentiment has soared globally in recent years, with many from the antivaxx and anti-lockdown movements turning towards the sovereign citizen ideology and sometimes using it to justify illegal activity and financial schemes. 

ISD explores the movement and its history in 'Explainers', a new series we publicly launched in September with the support of Microsoft. 

All of our Explainers are available on our website. Check back for new content as we continue producing brief guides to key concepts in extremism, hate and disinformation.
COVID sceptics & antivaxxers have switched their focus to the Respiratory Syncytial Virus surge. ISD Analyst Aoife Gallagher spoke to Mother Jones about how conspiracy communities are claiming the vaccines being developed to fight it are part of a sinister plot to harm people.
A search on Amazon of a Hebrew translation of his name led NBA star Kyrie Irving down an antisemitic rabbit hole that would get him suspended from five games. MSNBC draws on ISD's research on Amazon's role in exposing users to extremist material.
ISD's Head of Civic Action and Education, Jennie King, spoke to Euro News about Twitter's current approach toward climate disinformation. Although no major policy changes have happened since Elon Musk's takeover, the timing of a number of layoffs on the eve of COP27 "emboldened" climate deniers, she said.

"Denialism narratives are still out there circulating," ISD Senior Research Manager Jared Holt told Axios about the impact disinformation had on the US midterms. "The difference here is that they just don't seem to be exciting people like they did in 2020."

As a "digital public square", Twitter is where news broke of Osama bin Laden's death, the downing of flight MH17 and so much more. But what happens if it doesn't survive Elon Musk's takeover? Analysts Ciarán O'Connor and Elise Thomas talk to MIT Technology Review about what's at stake.
Following the US primaries, it may seem that election deniers have been kept at bay. But ISD's Head of Public Affairs and Strategic Communications, Anthony DeAngelo, tells iNews that "it's important to remember that these actors are playing the long game," on the road to the presidential elections. 
Interested in challenging extremism, hate and disinformation in all its forms?

The Strong Cities Network is seeking applicants for a Head of the Western Balkans Regional Hub, a Coordinator for Networks and Membership, a MENA Programme Lead and a Communications Manager

If you would like to know more about upcoming opportunities or submit a speculative application, please visit our careers portal below.
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We have been committed to the fight against hate, extremism, polarisation and disinformation for over 15 years and it's all thanks to support from people like you. As an independent, non-profit organisation, our work is reliant on grants and donations to stay on the forefront of analysing and responding to threats to democracy in all their forms. 

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