Mapping the anti-jihadist blogosphere

It has been a truly sad weekend with the terrorist attack of Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo, Norway. An extremely important political discussion is now unfolding about the causes of this tragedy. What was for example the role of the expanding anti-jihadist blogosphere?

In his manifesto Breivik keeps referring to five anti-islamic blogs:

All of these bloggers have condemned Breivik and adopted a martyr position after severe criticism from all over the world. But as for example Bjørn Stærk points out the dangerous potential of these bloggers have to be taken seriously.

I wanted to look closer at this network of bloggers. In an initial attempt to map the anti-jihadist I gathered the backlinks (the incoming links) of the five blogs mentioned above (using this site). I only included links from the front page, which means that links from single blog posts were excluded. The result was a list of 749 sites (not only blogs).

I run the list through Gephi and got the following network.

Click to open as pdf.

The size of the names are determined by the number of in-links. The sites in the middle are the ones that links to several of the five blogs.

Much more could be done to learn more about this network. One could for example expand the backlink dig to more blogs. Could that process somehow be automated? And could one use some sort of API to get more data on the sites that link to these five blogs? Geo data for example? Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to contribute.

You’ll find the backlinks I’ve gathered so far on Google Docs.


6 Comments on “Mapping the anti-jihadist blogosphere”

  1. esko says:

    Could you include Halla-ahos scripta -blog and Hommaforum as well?

    • Jens Finnäs says:

      I’ve tried to do that with a sligthly different approach (the idea is to use Yahoo’s backlink API and write a script that generates the links automatically), but I’ve encountered some problems. Can’t figure out how to list inlinks from just the main page of a site.

  2. […] blog about data exploration Mapping the anti-jihadist blogosphere […]

  3. Buttter says:

    Homma-forum runs on php, Y can not extract the links fron main page. But from Scriota and Vasarahammer and from other extremist-blogs it is possible. Do it, please.

  4. […] kovinkaan tarkka  – se on tehty pelkästään Breivikin manifestissa olleiden viittausten perusteella. On mielenkiintoista huomata suomalaisessa kontekstissa, että sieltä löytyy paikallisia […]

  5. Dymphna says:

    You’re missing a whole lot of counterjihad blogs in your “data” while putting in extraneous links that aren’t concerned with sharia’s incursions into America’s legal structure and culture.

    Just one example: Maverick Philosopher is exactly that: a philosopher whose main concern in philosophical constructs. If you can legitimately include his blog in your list of back links, might as well include every single conservative or libertarian thinker on the planet.

    And where is Diana West, who has written extensively about the threats to our culture via stealth jihad? Or how about the Center for Security Policy, whom we link all the time?

    This is not information in the real sense, it’s merely a blunt instrument masquerading as “data”.

    Ah well, some things never change. As they used to say, back when computers took up a whole rooms, “garbage in, garbage out”. Obviously your project is proof of that old adage.

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