This research, still in early stages, argues that young people using the Internet need to have the skills to discern whether they are engaging with people and/or spaces that are affiliated with extremist groups and ideas. Evidence shows that many young (primarily male) people who become radicalized into these groups start with web forums videos that seem benign. Similarly, scholarship shows an increasing need for young people to learn the basics of digital literacy in order to keep pace with their environment and for career-readiness in the future. Strides have recently been made to include the ability to identify mis/disinformation in these digital literacy practices. There are also current initiatives to combat hate speech on online platforms (though should should do this and what counts as "hate speech" is far from settled). We have not yet expanded these projects and politics into the extremist rhetoric that gets in between the gaps—the content that seems humorous, political, or just iconoclastic enough to be exciting. These young Internet denizens are very savvy in many ways, but not this one.
I am currently working with a collaborator from the library sciences on an academic article that makes this argument, for submission this year.
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Devin Proctor - email@example.com
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