"Terroristic" Content: Towards a Grading Scale

Donald Holbrook, Gilbert Aubrey Warner Ramsay, Max Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we offer a first attempt at providing a set of universal grading criteria for determining on what basis, and how far, an item of discursive content can be considered “terroristic.” In doing so, we draw loosely on the existing COPINE scale for child abuse images. The scale described in the article is not intended to reflect actual risk of engagement in terrorist violence, nor is it intended to have evidential validity in relation to offenses in certain jurisdictions relating to “terrorist publications.” Rather, by formalising assumptions which seem already to be latent in the literature on terrorist use of the Internet, it aspires to serve as a starting point for a more methodologically coherent approach to relationships between content—particularly online content—and terrorism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-223
Number of pages19
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2013


  • COPINE, grading scales, Internet, online content, radicalisation, terrorism, terrorist propaganda, violent extremism


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