Grooming for Terror: The Internet and Young People

The use of the Internet to spawn hate sites and recruit advocates for hate began as early as the mid-1980s in bulletin boards, and the first acknowledged hate site was Stormfront, in the early 1990s. Since then hundreds of hate sites and other websites advocating terror have been developed, some with stated aims of recruiting young people and influencing extreme action. This article reviews what is currently known about the development of hate sites into sophisticated recruitment and attitude-influencing mechanisms. The questions asked are: how do hate sites recruit members who might normally not be involved in hate and extreme action, how may hate sites radicalize the actions of young people already accepting of the mindset advocated by the website, and how effective is Internet recruitment?

Tags: Extreme Right, Forums, Hate Speech, Radicalisation, Youth