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New phenomena in online extremism

Knowledge synthesis of a survey on the prevention of online extremism among children and young people

The internet and social media have created a new social reality where users can interact with each other and potentially create new kinds of communities while sharing knowledge on an unprecedented scale. However, the internet has also become an arena where extremist groups and individuals are able to share hateful or polarising content and connect with children and young people who may be drawn into and/or be manipulated into sharing racist statements, for example, that are directed at a particular group, or videos with violent content.

Children and young people are now more likely to encounter content or ideological attitudes in their online lives that can be characterised as extremist.This can include unpleasant conspiracy theories or jokes that pop up on gaming platforms and display dehumanising perceptions of others. Furthermore, it has become easier for children and young people themselves to seek out social media and platforms with extremist material, e.g., on 4Chan, closed Discord channels or hate groups on Facebook, where they can contribute hateful content themselves.

New phenomena such as echo chambers, trolling, grooming, misinformation and fake news have come to the fore, and research has become increasingly aware of the mechanisms that lead to polarisation and extremist behaviour on online fora.

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Sidst opdateret 06/12 2021


Danish Centre for Prevention of Extremism
Danish Centre for Prevention of Extremism