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Extremism Online

In today’s digital world, it is easy to spread news quickly all over the world. With social media like Twitter and Facebook, people from different countries and cultures can connect with one another. The positive aspect of this is that people can learn about different societies and stay up to date on current information. However, the downside is that some like to spread extremist propaganda in the hopes of recruiting more people to fight for ISIS. The recruiters glorify the organization and make it seem as if they are fighting for a good cause. They are tricking people into flying over to the middle east to join the fight. This video from PBS shows how Facebook and other social media sites are fighting extremism online. They delete thousands of thGN6D4OI7.jpgaccounts every single day, but new ones are popping up all the time. Users report the accounts, but that is not enough to completely rid the site of them. To more efficiently delete them, Facebook has developed a photo recognition system. If the picture being uploaded has been previously deleted because it related to extremism, then the post will be removed, and the account will be suspended. This creates a problem because some people are trying to post pictures relating to extremism to speak out against it. One man uploaded a photo with and ISIS flag, and his account was suspended. He was only trying to report on ISIS, not support them. This new technology can limit freedom of speech to those trying to spread news or fight against extremism. It is a positive thing that the propaganda is being deleted, but it makes it hard for people to spread news about what is happening in the middle east. If social media sites remove the photo recognition system, the recruiters would be able to easily upload anything they want, but it would give everyone more freedom of speech. Maybe it is better to limit what everyone says in order to catch the extremist more efficiently. On the other hand, freedom of speech is important to spread knowledge and inform people of what is happening in the world.  Do you think there is a better way to fight extremism online?

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1 thought on “Extremism Online”

  1. This is a topic that made me think a lot this week. I get that people want to express the freedom of speech, but where exactly do we draw the line? Are we to allowing the spread of these extremist ideas or should allow people to post extremist thing online in the name of freedom of speech. I personally think that there should be little/no extremist posts on social media, because that is the biggest way these groups gain supporters. The reason people read news articles is because they clicked on a link, not because they are looking for these things elsewhere online, or at least for the most part. So, if we are limiting what people can see on social media less people will join these groups. Now there is a line for this restriction, if someone is named Isis and that is their confirmed name then that is okay. Also if the is a picture with an extremist flag that is not a prominent part of the photo then that is also okay. But as far as openly restricting extremist article clicks, extremist pictures, and extremists pages/posts I think that is not freedom of speech it is trying to keep people safe.

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