Orla Lehane from Dublin City University tells the Researchfest 2017 audience about her research into how violence-prevention practitioners are bringing people together.

Science Week

To counter extremist online content and help prevent young people being drawn into terrorist activities, many groups are funding and creating social media-friendly content of their own.

Dublin City University PhD candidate Orla Lehane started out by researching the effectiveness of this multitude of counterterrorism online content, studying both the messages and their creators. Her research connected her with violence-prevention practitioners who are engineering spaces to bring people together and overcome what divides them.

While Lehane’s research calls into question poor government policies to counter online extremism, she has noted how these practitioners are bridging divides at the individual level. She is now dedicated to spreading this knowledge on how we can act locally, share stories and support those seeking to make the world a space where we can coexist peacefully.

Words by Elaine Burke