Social Media and Extremism: New Ways to Divide Us

Video: “Social Media and Extremism: New Ways to Divide Us”

The Making of This Video; A Reflection:

I wanted to convey the argument that the divides that digital media cause between us can be so intense that they can result in extremism and terrorism, however it can also be used as a tool to bridge those divides. I chose to focus primarily on how social media is used by terrorist organisations to target vulnerable youth and persuade them to join their cause, as well as specific methods of redirecting attention away from these organisations with the same social media.

To plan this, I started by typing out ideas and then seeing where the research was. I found that of my ideas, social media and terrorism was the most studied and the most talked about. I wrote several paragraphs outlining my main points but did this largely unscripted, as it allows me to speak more naturally and colloquially. I positioned my camera at about face height with my body and eyes lining up with the rule of thirds, in order to draw attention to my face instead of my background and add interest to my movement. I turned my camera closer to the wall than usual, framing my guitar, in order to avoid the overhead glare of my ceiling light. I made eye contact with the camera to keep the audience engaged and also decided to try something new; leaving in more of my pauses in order to make it feel more authentic and conversational. The informality and decision to leave it looking less ‘polished’ was an attempt at appearing more relatable to the audience. I ensured that my phone’s microphone wasn’t covered by anything and I spoke clearly to ensure the best possible audio. Although I didn’t have to cite the articles I was referencing as subtitles, I decided to as I didn’t say the names of the articles in the video and felt that a last name and a year would help guide my viewers to whatever source they were interested in learning more about. The titles of the two articles were extremely long and took up too much of the screen, and I left out the title of the opinion piece for the sake of consistency. I chose two scholarly articles that researched how social media specifically is involved in modern terrorism and I also chose an opinion piece from a popular news site. The opinion piece was implemented for viewers who wished to do further reading or fact check me, who are unable or unwilling to read complex and long journal articles. It was a decision to increase accessibility to a wider range of viewers. I decided to keep the overall feel of this video quite simple; not overpowering it with overlays or audio. This was out of respect for the gravity of the topic and so as to not overwhelm viewers (as the subject matter is already quite heavy). However, I did add overlays relevant to my audio whenever I made a cut that was visually jarring to keep the video flowing and feeling fluent. I chose the same song as I used in my last assignment to create a sense of consistency across my channel, although I used different footage for the different topic. I played music over the intro and end credits to add intrigue, as well as fades to make music transitions smoother.

While filming this video, I finally had the long-time-coming tantrum over my method of balancing my phone on things precariously as a tripod being ineffective. It kept falling or showing things in the frame that I didn’t want, and I couldn’t see how long I’d been recording for or everything in the frame when I finally got it to stand up in a decent position. So, I caved and bought a tripod on Amazon that doubles as a selfie stick. I have no idea why I haven’t thought this a worthwhile investment for the many years that I have been filming videos and dealing with this inconvenient method. It unfortunately was not here in time to film this video in perfect framing, but I am looking forward to having much better control over my framing and shot compositions. I also got a ring light attachment for my phone to solve issues I faced in setup with balancing lighting, as my light source was an LED mirror that was off to the side. I also struggled with presenting to the camera and started over at least a dozen times, however this is likely because I didn’t feel extremely confident in the topic. A way to combat this in future would be to either research the topic for a few weeks in depth, or to stick to topics that I already feel quite passionate about.


190308-Z-FD650-2008.jpg by California National Guard (CC BY 2.0)

Collage of Digital (Social) Networks by Tanja Cappell (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Studying by rhodesj (CC BY 2.0)

Journals by Barry Silver (CC BY 2.0)


Enemy by SilentCrafter Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 Free Download / Stream: Music promoted by Audio Library


Von Behr, I, Reding, A, Edwards, C, Gribbon, L 2013, Radicalisation in the digital era: The use of the internet in 15 cases of terrorism and extremism, RANDS, retrieved 25/09/2019, <>

Boot, M 2019, ‘Why social media and terrorism make a perfect fit’, The Washington Post, 18 March, retrieved 26/09/2019, <>

Bertram, L 2016, ‘Terrorism, the Internet and the Social Media Advantage…’, Journal for Deradicalisation, No. 7, pp. 225-252, retrieved 25/09/2019, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

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