ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Yulia A. Zubok Doctor of Sociology, Professor,
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia; Institute of Socio-Political Research of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-3108-2614
Anna Y. Karpova Doctor of Sociology
National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0001-7854-1438
Aleksei O. Savelev Candidate of Technical Sciences
National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-7466-6142
Practical network topology in the study of online radicalisation of youth: opportunities and limitations.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2024. Vol. 15. No. 1. P. 13-42

Дата поступления статьи: 19.02.2024
Topic: Methodology in Russian Sociology

For citation:
Zubok Y. A., Karpova A. Y., Savelev A. O. Practical network topology in the study of online radicalisation of youth: opportunities and limitations. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2024. Vol. 15. No. 1. P. 13-42


The paper presents key approaches to understanding and researching radicalisation, as well as the opportunities and limitations of applying some research methods to model network topology and assess content similarity of online communities. Today, Web Mining and AI methods and technologies are often applied in research on social networks and youth participation in them. However, the question how these approaches can be effectively used to study online radicalisation remains open. The answer to this question should increase the explanatory and predictive power of computational models for detecting and predicting radicalisation in the online space. In much of the Russian research on online radicalisation, a common approach has been to reduce the task of identifying the interconnectedness of individual online communities or clusters of them to assessing the degree of similarity in terms of subscribers or linguistic markers. This approach is limited in predicting new connections between communities and justifying radicalisation pathways, but is relevant in modelling information diffusion. In this paper, the authors aim to demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of applying the tf-idf, doc2vec methods to assess the content similarity of online communities without signs of radicalisation and online communities with signs of radicalisation. This approach allowed the authors to identify communities with a significant tendency to unite (to establish direct links). The paper presents the results of the comparative study in the form of social graphs formed according to the principles of subscriber commonality, similarity of significant words, and contextual similarity based on the doc2vec model. The social graph based on doc2vec method performed better in terms of clustering of online communities as well as interpretability of the results. This is crucial for detecting and predicting radicalisation online, as it opens the prospect of exploring the nature of assortativity in the observed network.


social network, community, radicalisation, network topology, tf-idf, doc2vec


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