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White supremacist threat remains, but experts see hope in combatting online extremism

White supremacist threat remains, but experts see hope in combatting online extremism

White supremacist threat remains, but experts see hope in combatting online extremism
White supremacist threat remains, but experts see hope in combatting online extremism

Scroll back to restore the default view. USA TODAYThe threat of whites still exists, but experts see hope in combating online extremism

December 26, 2021, 6:30 PM

The new approaches come as President Joe Biden has prioritized tackling homegrown extremism after years of denial under former President Donald  White supremacist threat remains, but experts see hope in combatting online extremism This is the first autumn conference of the Eradicate Hate, held just 10 months after the Jan uprising. 6 showed how deeply hateful ideas permeated U.S. society, with violent domestic violence experts discovering something surprising: hope.

After years of frustration and fear, a few experts have agreed that they may be able to devise ways to curb extremism and drive people out of hate groups.

The new measures come as President Joe Biden has prioritized combating domestic extremism after years of denial under former President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, right-wing extremists have been charged with criminal prosecution stemming from the uprising, as well as filing of criminal cases against their victims: their bank accounts.

"Doors are open, in unprecedented ways, to try to address these threats directly," said Jared Holt, a colleague at Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, researching extremist theories.

And the Polarization and Extremism and Research Innovation Lab, or PERIL, in Washington, DC, in collaboration with the Southern Poverty Law Center, has launched an intervention that will change the hardliners from the organization and help parents and caregivers stop young people. accepting hateful ideas.

The United States is still facing major challenges in combating violence, domestic violence, experts say. The organization is constantly evolving, with threats from white friendly groups such as the Proud Boys, unauthorized military groups such as the Oath Keepers, and people suffering from conspiracy theories like QAnon.

But people who are sent to understand and oppose those groups believe that there is light on the horizon.

"We finally have resources: talented hands like PERIL and Moonshot that try to eradicate people and get them out of gangs," said Heidi Beirich, founder of Global Project Against Hate and Extremism.  agencies say this is a threat, but we have never seen the efforts of the entire government. ”

Moonshot: Going where the government can’t

The US government has always had a problem dealing with the domestic crisis: You should not monitor people based on their opinions, and you should not track movements just because their opinions offend most people.

Law enforcement agencies are not allowed to identify groups of aggressive people unless they have broken the law or are about to break it.

But nothing can stop private companies, organizations or individuals from guarding hateful and extremist content. Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have teams of researchers to monitor and expose hate groups and individual activists.

Now, one company is taking a step forward.

Moonshot, a technology start-up launched in 2015, has launched an effort to "redirect" people who are looking for extreme content online, by introducing them in other ways aimed at reducing or preventing them from developing extremist ideas.

To do this, Moonshot uses the same targeted marketing that sells products.

Collaborating with the Anti-Defamation League, Moonshot has included keywords and phrases associated with extremes. The company purchased ads from Google and other platforms that delivered targeted ads to specific search engines. If, for example, someone Google's "good conversion theory", Moonshot advertising can provide that person with videos, news, or educational papers about how. racist ideology has long been ignored.

"We use the same marketing tools available to any major brand - Coca-Cola, Adidas, or any major brand - that seeks to reach their customers," said Vidhya Ramalingam, founder, and CEO of Moonshot. That's just us, the customer base, to say the least, about vulnerable people. "

The company has also been working with Facebook to evaluate the effectiveness of the "Search for" giant social media platform, which is a similar program on the platform. When users search for hateful content on Facebook, the forum redirects them to other content that contradicts harmful narratives.

Those methods alone "will not solve all problems with communication algorithms," Alex Amend, a company spokesman, wrote in an email.

In spite of the fact that radicals feel that Moonshot's work is fun, many say they are worried about the information gathered by a revenue-driven organization.

White supremacist threat remains

Courtney Radsch, creator and master on specialized struggles and common freedoms, said Moonshot ought to be available to the investigation as the organization gets government subsidizing while at the same time taking care of business that the alliance government can't do.


Albeit the advancement of Moonshot's "Divert Method," itself was not subsidized by the public authority, the current adaptation to manage potential radicals is supported by an award of brutality and illegal intimidation counteraction from the Department of Homeland Security.

. "Is that information being utilized for something different? Is the thing they are picking up being utilized to sell better items? The information they gather, do state-run administrations get it?"


Correct said the organization doesn't gather individual data about individuals it plans to help.


He referred to the organization's yearly outside common freedoms review as proof that Moonshot works as straightforwardly as could be expected, and said the organization clung to European protection rules.


"We expected to look, not people. We don't have the foggiest idea who these individuals are, "said Amend. "We don't need Big Brother. We don't need individuals to be caught. "

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