Reports: Countering Online Islamophobia

Community Policy Forum is pleased to showcase a new report funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and conducted by Keele University: ‘Contesting Islamophobia: Representation and Appropriation in Mediated Activism’ by Professor Elizabeth Poole and Professor Ed de Quincey (Keele University), Dr Eva Haifa Giraud (University of Sheffield), and Dr John E. Richardson (University of Liverpool).

This research examines how Twitter (now X) serves as both a platform for spreading and contesting anti-Muslim racism and Islamophobia, particularly in response to significant socio-political events like Brexit, the Christchurch mosque terror attack, and the COVID-19 pandemic. By using these three ‘trigger events’ and drawing upon an extensive analysis of over three million tweets, Professor Poole and her team have endeavoured to unravel the mechanisms through which hate speech proliferates and gains visibility within the digital landscape.

While instances of solidarity and support against Islamophobia may emerge following such trigger events, the findings reveal a concerning pattern: such displays of solidarity often prove transient and short-lived, allowing space for far-right groups to perpetuate anti-Muslim tropes and disseminate hatred with alarming ease. Thus, there is a significant interplay between the spread of disinformation and its counter-narratives, resulting in a relationship wherein these opposing factions are often intimately entangled and frequently work to sustain each other. Ultimately, by examining the interplay of users, platform tools, timelines, and events, the research sheds a much-needed light on the dynamics of online activism, identifying both the opportunities and constraints inherent in countering online hate.

Read the full report, ‘Contesting Islamophobia: Representation and Appropriation in Mediated Activism’:


A supplementary report by Community Policy Forum provides a policy perspective to this new research. By summarising the observations and findings of Professor Poole and her team, our report identifies key recommendations and strategic interventions for potentially fostering a more inclusive and tolerant digital sphere.

Read Community Policy Forum’s report:

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).