Toxic Online Spaces and “Ideology-Free Terrorism”

In the January 2023 edition of the White Paper Series, the Intelligence & Analysis Division examines recent reports suggesting that an ideology-free form of terrorism may be emerging as seen in recent acts of violence. This “ideology-free terrorism” originates from various online communities and forums in which individuals engage in nihilism and misanthropy that lacks a unified political or ideological motivation that is typically seen amongst violent extremists. This paper will examine these online communities and the potential role they play in radicalizing violent individuals in the absence of a defined ideology.