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Radio Atlantic: Crazy/Genius Season 3 – E03 – How Did The Far Right Take Over The Web?

12/07/2019

Derek Thompson – 23052019

Summary

From Charlottesville, Virginia, to Christchurch, New Zealand, the last few years have been filled with examples of online hatred spilling over into offline violence. How did the Web become one big media channel for the far right, and how can we make the Internet safe from extremism?

See the related article for more details

We talk with journalists and internet researchers about the rise of online extremism in the latest episode of the podcast Crazy/Genius.MORE AT LINK

Not sure I buy the premise of the article, but some of the concern is understandable, especially when you consider Trump’s Social Media Summit

However, I broadly agree with the article’s conclusion

Fighting extremism requires a pyramid-shaped strategy. At the top, it requires that social-media companies take stronger steps to ban the predators and monitor hate speech, as they’ve already begun to do. But the rest of us, the understory of the biomass pyramid, can do better too. If we understand the psychological origins of online extremism, we can play an equally important role in limiting the spread of the most hateful ideas.

Today’s internet users have the broadcast power once reserved for journalists, but journalistic power comes with journalistic responsibilities. Phillips says internet users ought to act more like a responsible press. One way is for users to ask themselves a simple question before pressing the share button: “What does the sharing of this content achieve? Does it merely make my social network a more extreme, chaotic, and frothily outraged claque, or does it add context and understanding to the world?” Some extremism deserves public condemnation. But sometimes it’s best to resist offering hateful speech the oxygen of amplification.

Though I worry about free speech limitation and the harmful effect of good intentions.

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