Professor Cody Corliss to Publish New Work in Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

West Virginia University College of Law professor Cody Corliss will publish new scholarship in a forthcoming issue of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. The article is titled  "Digital Terror Crimes" and will appear in volume 62 of the journal.

From the abstract:

Terror actors operating within armed conflict have weaponized social media by using these platforms to threaten and spread images of brutality in order to taunt, terrify, and intimidate civilians. These acts or threats of violence are terror, a war crime prohibiting acts or threats of violence made with the primary purpose of spreading terror among the civilian population. The weaponization of terror content through social media is a digital terror crime.

This article is the first to argue for the extension of the war crime of terror to include digital terror crimes. It demonstrates how social media platforms offer the perfect conduit for terror crimes, bolstered by an inherently performative medium reliant on interactivity and user-generated content.

This article situates digital terror crimes within the existing jurisprudence on terror. Ad hoc international and hybrid criminal tribunals have previously entered convictions for terror as a result of military campaigns targeting civilians, acts of violence committed in public, or acts of violence that carry an inherent public message. Although terror is an autonomous war crime, all convictions for terror have resulted from an underlying criminal act. Digital terror crimes are different: The underlying act of social media use is not a war crime outside the crime of terror. This article contends that digital terror crimes constitute two interconnected crimes of terror with the potential to implicate different actors. Digital terror crimes are terror crimes as (1) publicly committed acts of brutality meant to be used for digital content and (2) as threats made against civilians when that content is edited and uploaded on social media platforms.

Find more of Professor Corliss's scholarship on SSRN and his SelectedWorks scholarship profile.

A headshot of Professor Cody Corliss