Far-Right on the Net: The Internet and Radicalization

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Unquestionably—the Internet has played a massive role in the Recruitment and Radicalisation of people joining Far-Right Extremist organisations. Since 1999, the cases of individuals radicalised through Internet usage has skyrocketed—but why is this?

The Days of Demonstrating and Street Activism may not yet be quite over—but certainly there is an inclination to be more active on the Internet now, for those involved in Far-Right Extremism. Several Fascist Forums and Neo-Nazi Networks recently came to light such as Iron Gates and Fascist Forge—places where when revealed, showed us that Extremists are truly internationally linked.

Certainly, for the Younger Generation of Far-Right Extremists, the Internet is a haven and place of respite in which much humour and boisterous behaviour can be displayed through the use of Memes—such as Pepe the Frog, who unfortunately was hijacked by the Alt-Right. Through the rise of the Incel community, popularised High-School Shootings and Terrorist Massacres—we have seen an increasing amount of Dark Internet humour being shared and indeed celebrated, in Far-Right circles.

We often highlight when delivering Training Sessions, the link between the time it took David Copeland (The Nail Bomber) and Darren Osborne (Finsbury Park Mosque attack)—to radicalise. In the case of Copeland, it was 3 years through varying degrees of Far-Right Movements. In the case of Darren Osborne, this was just 3 months—and we attribute this directly to the Internet.

More and more, Far-Right Extremists are reading propaganda and conspiratorial documents on the Internet which so often lead to Self-Radicalization. We see this clearly with Patriotic Alternative—who promote the coming “White Genocide” on their website and claim to be the last line of defence for all White People. Yet these theories have no basis or fact, People still believe them and find further supporting “Evidence” on the internet. Through Websites such as the Daily Stormer, Daily Bale News and the other Far-Right Propaganda mouthpieces, this so-called supporting evidence is supplied—in essentially false and fake news. This leads to a revolving door internet cycle—all the while we have Extremists groups offering membership to Discord and Telegram, as a way of connecting with the wider “Brotherhood” and seeking salvation.

They are certainly not stupid—the Far-Right Wanted to make the recruitment phase as quick and painless as possible, so as if to create a kind of “urgent-insurgent” geared up and ready for all-out Race War. An incredibly dangerous reality, to think that a younger person could fall into this kind of banal degeneracy through Far-Right propaganda and brainwashing. Yet the internet is the significant—and so often—deciding factor upon the path taken.

We at EXIT UK have also identified several Online Multiplayer Games which are frequented by Far-Right Extremists. These Games are used then to identify potential recruits for the organisations and begin correspondence with those they select—a kind of virtual headhunting for Far-Right recruits.

Then of course we only need look to the tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand—in which Brendan Tarrant gunned down 51 People whilst live streaming on Facebook. For those who were unfortunate enough to watch this Massacre unfolding, many described it as if they are watching scenes from Call of Duty—the popular video game played online by millions. We must ask ourselves the question then, are Patriotic Alternative—a group which uses Call of Duty to host regular tournaments and recruit drives—are they also using it to train people in the Art of War? It’s a question that needs asking and answering.

This is why the internet provides the complete package for the Far-Right recruit—all of the needs are met for satisfactory radicalisation and every aspect of their lives can be filled with Far-Right programming and brainwashing to disrupt the people they should be growing into. It is a sad reality that so many young people fall victim to the Far-Right lies on the Internet and end up becoming involved in these organisations. As EXIT UK have pointed out many times—the Far-Right path only leads to negative and destructive consequences in the future of that individual and this is why we need to do something now.

We need to work together, from taking down content which urges people to take direct action or promotes hate to building buffers that stops people going from being worried about something to becoming hardcore far-right extremists. If we don’t, we are losing hundreds, if not thousands of people to extremism and it only takes ONE to hurt, maim or kill people.

As a society we need collective action. The reduction of online far-right extremist content, educated specialists to engage with people who have far-right views to highlight how dangerous and damaging involvement is, we need teachers and youth workers to know the signs of extremism and know how to have difficult conversations, because if don’t then people will simply go online and be engaged with by extremist recruiters who will seek to use them to prepare for ‘RAHOWA’.

Tackling extremism, we know isn’t easy. Its hard, but it isn’t going to go away. The far-right in the UK have been around since the 1920’s, that’s nearly 100 years and any attempt to tackle and reduce extremism must be long-term, sinking foundations and be well financed, supported by both the government and business sector.

If not, what is the alternative? Far-right extremism will continue to grow at an alarming rate, people will continue to be sent to prison resulting in massive costs and the threat from far-right extremism will continue to grow, harming its victims, the individuals involved, their families, the communities they live in and ultimately the country we all care about.

Now is a crucial time, we do not want future generations to look at we are doing today and still be in the position we are today in another 100 years.

Dedicated to creating positive change through education, compassion and understanding Exit is dedicated to reducing extremism and its impact through non-judgemental support, but we need help, help to pay for core staff to be available to offer support and get people to walk away from the far-right, thus reducing extremism and people getting hurt.

If you agree with our approach and want to help, then please get In touch. Everyone can do something, and we need support to tackle extremism head on and this can only be done through people and organisations getting behind us to pay for key staff and developing a solid foundation to defeat extremism, once and for all.

To support our work or offer assistance please contact: info@exituk.org

To find out more, please visit – www.exituk.org & www.exitfamilysupport.org

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