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Extremist Propaganda

Social media is a fact of life but it is up to us to ensure that it doesn’t continue to be bastardized by bad influences that prey on the vulnerable.

ARTICLES | BY K.K.BROWN

JUNE 2, 2017

In a world seemingly consumed by the scourge of extremist groups and overcome by horrific acts of terrorism, social media has begun to play an increasingly important role.  What was, at its core, a way for people to share and communicate with family and friends has quickly been turned into an easy way for radical groups to recruit new members.


This is a well-documented practice and one that is gaining momentum every day.  That’s because there are so many disillusioned young people out there and most of them are participating in social media.  Unfortunately, the result is that these platforms give radical groups a quick and easy way to reach these vulnerable individuals and fill their heads with blind rhetoric and empty promises.


At the same time, the mainstream media feeds into this frenzy by presenting distilled versions of the truth in order to promote their own agendas.  As a result, individuals who are already unhappy with society are further made to believe in just how bad things have gotten, which leaves them turning elsewhere for some sort of answer.


The education system isn’t helping any either, as they seem intent on dumbing down the population with state fed curricula that only touches on certain subjects rather than giving our children the full picture.  This leads to a very narrow view of the world, and one that can leave many kids feeling inadequate and unhappy.


All of this less than ideal input from society creates the perfect storm for disillusioned, angry and dissatisfied young people.  When they then turn to social media, they begin looking for the answers that they may feel they aren’t getting anywhere else.  And with our popular belief that anything you find online is necessarily true, it’s easy to see how things can quickly grow dangerous.


Extremist groups have been all too eager to pick up on this trend and they play directly toward this particular audience.  With promises of a better world, a way to bring about change or just a way out of the dead end existence they may seem locked into, young people are easily swayed by these groups.


The evidence of this phenomenon is undeniable.  It seems as if every day we hear about people committing crimes or acts of terrorism and pointing to social media as the impetus for their actions.  It’s a sad and scary commentary on just how dysfunctional our society has become.  How far have we fallen that we can let a few words posted on social media have such an all-encompassing influence on our lives?


Social media is a fact of life but it is up to us to ensure that it doesn’t continue to be bastardized by bad influences that prey on the vulnerable.  We need to stand up as a society and make sure that we aren’t listening to the wrong messages.  There needs to be a change in social media and that change begins with us.

Image: Jon Tyson @ Unsplash.com

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ARTICLES | BY: Major Dennis Copson
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