I’m not going to say anything about this topic as I think the article says it all:

A Tale Of 2 Radicalizations

However, I do want to spotlight a comment made by one of the individuals described in the article:

[O]ne of the people who inspired him most was President Donald Trump.

Of course, as always, your reactions and comments are invited.

21 thoughts on “Radicalization

  1. The article, I think, does explain how many people become radicalised. The issue is that social media actually does encourage this. I have multiple social media accounts, and as an experiment I selected to search some topics on some platforms and not on others. Very quickly I noticed how the various platforms promoted topics and ideologies related to what I had previously searched for and read. A similar, although more subtle effect occurs with search engines.

    I’ve now taken to searching social media sites and search engines anonymously for this very reason. It means I’m less likely to be presented with information likely to provide “confirmation bias”. It seems to me that the algorithms used by all forms of social media result in a tendency to provide “confirmation bias” and I don’t know what the best remedy is. The Christchurch Call is perhaps only a partial answer…

    Liked by 3 people

      • That’s one site I wasn’t aware of, and I’ll add it to my watch list. However some of their information is way out of date. For example in it’s review of NZ, it states that Stuff a major player in the print and internet media here is owned by an Australian conglomerate. In fact there was a management buyout in May 2020, and is now a staff owned enterprise. If it’s 10 months out of date on this fact, what else could be suspect?

        What does seem odd about its ranking system is that it seems to view liberalism with a lean towards the left. I don’t believe there’s a direct relationship.


        • In doing a bit of research on the website a few days ago, I came across a VERY long list of publications that they have as yet been able to investigate. This may have something to do with the example you provided as being out-of-date.

          Also, the virus may have played a role in their operations as well, as it has done with so many others.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I see that they rely on RSF (Reporters Without Borders) as their source for information of press freedom by nation, the last review being during the early stage of the pandemic.

          However when I look specifically at their review of Stuff they are up to date.

          I’ll keep them as one of tools in my basket to ensure that the information I receive is factual (although probably with a slight lean to the left and a strong liberal lean)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry for the delay in posting this … it went to my Spam folder. Have NO idea why. My “link” limit is certainly set higher than one! 🤷‍♀️

          Overall, I do think it’s a good source and at least gives a person an idea which side of the spectrum the information is coming from.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I recall watching an indepth series of shows in France, about 2015, on DAESH, and how they radicalized themselves, initially, and then turned to marketing tactics and social media to radicalize others.
    I kept thinking, ‘this is exactly how people are pulled in to cult groups. This DAESH/ISIS is just one giant very well-organized cult group, essentially.’

    They prey on the emotional vulnerability of others, and that is where the foundational work has to go in our society:

    Building Empathy, and
    educating for and encouraging critical thinking skills, paired up with empathy.



    Liked by 2 people

  3. These people, and many many others might have got their starts from accessing false-truth websites, but they are the ones who chose to believe them, and to go on accessing them. Yes, they were gullible, but probably they were were looking for ways to strike society back for proven or unproven facts. Being gullible is not a crime, but somewhere a choice was made. Somewhere they had to ask themselves, “Is this right? And that choice is their responsibility”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes … and no. IMO, it has much to do with personality and even a person’s upbringing and/or background. It’s easy to sit in judgment of others when they don’t see the world the same as us. But there are reasons behind every action/thought. And once a person has “given over” to a particular perspective/outlook, it’s very easy to find justification.


      • I will not dispute any 9f that, Nan, but I still ythink in the end a choice has to be made. I know brainwashing works, I was pretty much brainwashed by religious authorities as a youth to believe in a false reality. But when I finally ran into something even brainwashed me could not accept without question, the line was crossed, and I could not go back.
        Maybe they never looked over the razor’s edge yet, but that does not release them from responsibility, at least not in my mind. Were they ten-year old children like Omar Khadr being forced by adults to be child-soldiers I can forgive them that, but these are no longer children we are dealing with. The prime time for leaving cults is 16 to 22. There are becoming-adults.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nan, simply taking the former president at his word is a a fool’s errand. If this person inspired anyone to action, the actor needs to check another source before acting. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The article makes this claim: “While the radicalization of Abdullahi Yusuf and Bruno Cua might have been driven by very different ideologies, the process by which they became extremists was remarkably similar.”

    I think the ideologies are very similar and the process was quite different. The other was a young man who saw actual atrocities and wanted to stop them, while the other was a punk with no regard for law or commonly agreed rules and was influenced by his parents also more or less radicalized.

    The two ideologies hold the very same values from authoritarianism, extreme conservatism and fascistic utilitarian view on human value and disregard on the value of scientifically verifiable facts. They are both fuelled by denialism and fear. They are identical right-wing ideologies only set in nominally different religious backrounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nan, before I read the article I said to myself, “A good comparison to social-media radicalization’s methodology would be how ISIL/ISIS brainwashes their consumers.” Others like Hizballah, FARC, etc, and the ones domestically like Sovereign Citizens, Anarchist, White Supremacy, or Anti-abortion extremists all use near identical psychological handbook to lure in their targeted people. There is also a clear pattern of WHO those targets are and their familial-social and/or occupational backgrounds have been. Add on typical, recent painful life-events and you have a high value target.

    Then I read the NPR article and the case of Bruno Cua of Milton, GA. Bingo! Exactly the psych, familial, and social background I was referencing.

    Abdullahi Yusuf’s radicalization into ISIS was the same in concept despite being different ideologies. What neither youth did was to gain broader, more equitable sources other than YouTube and purely shallow, brief online “research”. As I’ve heard and read many times about this internet psych problem:

    “What matters is that whatever the alternative facts are, so called, they actually resonate and make sense to them.”

    Yep, this is the Post-truth Era alright. Whether it’s a blatant lie or pure truth simply doesn’t matter. As I commented in your previous post Nan, it is Confirmation Bias and how that reinforcement makes a person FEEL that moves them toward radicalization—those dopamine hits giving (metaphysical?) purpose in their otherwise traumatized(?), or boring, mediocre, helpless-feeling(?) lives. But the latter, if they don’t possess clinical psych problems, then it is most often a form of laziness to 1) do all the necessary homework/legwork, and 2) find a quick-fix ala a drug-addict. Pure and simple.

    Liked by 1 person

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