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Online Radicalization on the Internet


The online sphere has increasingly become part of day-to-day life for many people. With the spread of popular culture and the integration of technology into every person’s daily life, there is no way to avoid the internet and its effects on the majority. This trend, however, presents a major problem when discussing negative influences and harmful ideologies. The worldwide web can be a perfect breeding ground for radical views and their spread, which in turn leads to the radicalization of the online population.

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Radicalization Online

Online media has a significant power to influence and change people’s beliefs or drive them down a path of becoming more extremist in nature. The platforms of sharing and posting information give people an opportunity to relay their ideas to others, while also making the process of discerning the real from the fabrication much more difficult (Odag et al.). As shown by research, extremist groups make use of the social media and forum channels available online as a way to spread harmful rhetoric.

Vulnerable Demographics

Particular demographics are more vulnerable to radicalization than others. It can be noted that most often, young adults, especially men, find themselves influenced by the internet. Young people of today are often disillusioned by the systematic failures of governments and other power structures, or actively distrust their authority (McBride). Additionally, it is easy for young men to get into fringe ideologies due to the need for community and understanding they lack in real life.

The Spread of Extreme Beliefs

Most often, radical beliefs are spread by organizations and communities aligned with specific political causes and methods. Terrorism, right-wing beliefs, conspiracies, and violence become the major focus points in online radicalization (Maura, Scrivens). Therefore, jihadist groups and the far-right become the most prominent sources of extremist thought.


Individual action is unlikely to combat the realities of online radicalization. As shown by research, government intervention can play an important role in stopping radicalization. The need for systematic action and government response becomes more apparent with the increased frequency of violent acts committed by extremists. (Warrington). Therefore, a systematic approach is necessary to prevent online extremism from spreading.


In conclusion, the internet is a wide and varied platform for communication and other activities. Radical beliefs and other fringe ideologies easily take root online and spread to vulnerable demographics, which negatively affects the population. It is necessary to form a country-wide solution to the problem and find ways of controlling the spread of extremist beliefs.

Works Cited

Conway, Maura and Scrivens, Ryan. “Right-Wing Extremists’ Persistent Online Presence: History and Contemporary Trends.” ICCT. 2019. Web.

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McBride, Megan K. “The Logic of Terrorism: Existential Anxiety, the Search for Meaning, and Terrorist Ideologies.” Terrorism and Political Violence, vol. 23, no. 4, 2011, pp. 560–581. Web.

Odag, Özen, et al. “Reviewing the Role of the Internet in Radicalization Processes.” Journal for Deradicalization, no. 20, 2019, pp. 261-300. Web.

Warrington, Anna. “’Sometimes You Just Have to Try Something’ – a Critical Analysis of Danish State-Led Initiatives Countering Online Radicalisation.” Journal for Deradicalization, no. 14, 2018, pp. 111-152. Web.

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