Right-wing extremist groups are increasingly using the internet to spread their messages, and more and more it’s young adults they’re reaching in the process, according to a Virginia Tech expert who studies the topic.
James Hawdon, a professor of sociology and the director of the Virginia Tech Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, notes that “extremism comes in many forms and colors.” But studies he and his colleagues have published and continue to work on show a rise in hate groups in the United States from the political right in the last decade.
“Extremist groups such as the KKK started using the internet almost immediately after it was developed. But the number of active hate groups operating in the United States increased by 66 percent between 2000 and 2010, and by 2010 there were over 1,000 active hate groups online. Although the number of active groups are down since the peak year of 2011, they have increased since 2015. Now, individuals maintaining sites or commenting online are the main disseminators of online extremism.”
“Based on our data, more people are seeing extremist messaging online. The number of Americans ages 15 to 21 who are exposed to online extremist messages increased by over 20 percent, from 58.3 percent to 70.2 percent, between 2013 and 2016.”
“The growth of hate groups from the political right has been especially pronounced, as there was a substantial increase in right-wing hate group formation and activity after the 2008 election of Barack Obama.”
“Using our 2016 data, we see that of those who report seeing extremist messaging online:
- 68.9 percent report that the group or groups being attacked are racial or ethnic minorities
- 48.2 percent attack groups based on their nationality
- Approximately 40 percent of these messages openly advocate violence against the targeted group
- Nearly 50 percent of the messages advocate hatred of the group, and one-third of the messages openly call for discrimination against the group.”
“Why this has happened is complex, but it should be noted that extremism has a long history in the United States. Indeed, the number of violent acts attributable to extremists in the country has decreased since the 1970s. However, currently, right-wing extremism is the most common form.”
Connect With SWHELPER
How Health & Fitness Businesses Are Flexing Their Muscles For Customers Right Now
We’re all public health nerds now, and many of us have stepped up our games when it comes to washing...
Tourette Association of America marks National Tourette Awareness Month with Engaging Virtual Events and Activities
The Tourette Association of America (TAA), the premier national nonprofit organization serving the Tourette Syndrome (TS) and Tic Disorder community,...
Legislation Introduced to Honor Former Foster Youth Lost to Corona Virus
On May 15, 2020, Rep. Karen Bass, co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, and Rep. Gwen Moore will...
Food Delivery Businesses Showing Up For People Right Now
At difficult times like these, Fred Rogers followed his mother’s sage advice: “When I was a boy and I would...
News3 months ago
Social Distancing for Social Workers During a Global Pandemic
News1 month ago
To Support Others, Social Workers Must Advocate for Themselves Amidst Covid-19 Outbreak
Health3 months ago
National Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders
Global3 months ago
Making Your Mental Health a Priority in 2020