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.

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