UMCP Animal Liberation Front and Domestic Terrorism Discussion

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Discuss one of the following:

Do you think that animal rights groups are morally justified in engaging in violence and terrorism?;

What is the difference between PETA and the Animal Liberation Front?;

  • Do you think that online radicalization is a threat in the United States?; or
  • What are the three ways for dealing with online radicalization?

RESPONSE

Do you think that online radicalization is a threat in the United States?

Connectedness through the internet provides information sharing in ways never thought possible. Online recruiting websites like Indeed, Ziprecruiter, and Monster allow companies to connect with a wide array of potential employees. Before the internet, companies hired through headhunting firms, newspaper advertisements, or word-of-mouth. Fast forward to 2022, and a small niche company in the middle of nowhere can advertise their positions to millions of people. The internet provides a pathway for efficiency, and not only for legal employment. Terrorist recruiters and purveyors of their ideology flood the internet to stoke extremism within our population.

Online radicalization is one of the greatest threats facing America. The mechanisms of online radicalization are as follows (Nuemann, 2013):

  1. Mortality Salience. Online content depicting death and martyrdom promote extreme violence in terrorist tactics.
  2. Sense of Moral Outrage. Shock-content will turn up the emotional levels of prospective terrorists.
  3. Extremist Forums as an ‘Criminogenic Environment’. 4Chan and similar websites act as an incubator for growing terrorist feelings and ideologies.
  4. Online Disinhibition. The veil of anonymity allows internet users to voice polarizing and dangerous ideas.
  5. Mobilization Through Role-Play. Internet users may become depressed and disenfranchised with the real world after extensive fantasy-gameplay.
  6. Links Into Terrorist Structures. Internet provides pathways to terrorist networks and their recruiters.

As division increases in America, more citizens find themselves pushed up against the fringe. Our enemies recognize those Americans are vulnerable to radicalization. The disinformation campaigns perpetrated by our enemies aim to create additional instability, division, and hate. Unfortunately, our foreign enemies are not the only ones seeking to sow division. Mainstream media such as MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News play a large role in fostering anger. It seems impossible to escape. A large portion of journalism aims to foster clicks and heighten emotions, instead of informing the readers. As our connection to the internet increases, the online radicalization of Americans will continue to occur at greater rates

 

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