ON 15 March 2019, fifty one humans have been killed in consecutive shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The first of the assaults changed into live-streamed on Facebook for 17 minutes. But social media wasn’t best used at the day. It is concept that the accused gunman changed into radicalised on-line via way of means of far-proper extremists earlier than immersing himself in a web lifestyle of white supremacist ideology. In short, his adventure from non-public teacher to gunman changed into fuelled via way of means of social media.
It is an an increasing number of acquainted phenomenon and few humans apprehend it higher than Julia Ebner, a counter-extremism professional on the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London, UK. Over the beyond decade, she has visible virtual generation rework nearly each component of ways radical businesses work. She has watched extremists use virtual platforms, from nameless message board 8chan and immediate messaging app Telegram to YouTube and Facebook, to disseminate their ideologies, recruit and radicalise new members, and encourage them to perform violent assaults.
A couple of years ago, Ebner realised that the high-quality manner to apprehend on-line extremists is to infiltrate their hidden forums. She went undercover, becoming a member of dozens of businesses, from white nationalists to radical misogynists, to peer from the internal how they operate – and a way to counter them. Ebner has documented her studies in her ee-e book Going Dark: The mystery social lives of extremists.