That's Not Me - Diversity and Media
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That's Not Me - Diversity and Media

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Framed around key concepts of media literacy, the That’s Not Me tutorial examines how entertainment and news media represent diversity and the impact these media portrayals can have on the value we ...

Framed around key concepts of media literacy, the That’s Not Me tutorial examines how entertainment and news media represent diversity and the impact these media portrayals can have on the value we place on individuals and groups in society. The tutorial explores how the media industry is changing to better reflect Canadian society and provides strategies for challenging negative representations and engaging young people in advocating for more realistic and positive media portrayals.

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  • In this workshop, we’ll look at how the Internet is used to spread and incite hate – and how parents, community leaders and educators can respond.
  • When we talk about online hate, we’re not really thinking about hate as an emotion, but rather as a mindset or a point of view where people define themselves in opposition to another group. Hatred of the other group becomes a part of your identity, and may cause you to experience positive or negative emotions depending on what happens to that group. This kind of hate may be directed towards one or more of hundreds of possible groups (though some are more often targets than others.) What is constant in all manifestations of hate is the perception that all members of the hated group have a negative, immutable “essence” that makes them a threat and justifies any action taken against them. As one writer puts it, “If the essence is bad, there is nothing to be done—negotiation and education can no more make a difference than negotiation or education can make a difference in the essence of a tiger. If tigers threaten us and hurt us, all tigers are targets.” [1] _________________________ [1] McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko. “Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism”, Terrorism and Political Violence , 20:3 (2008), 415-433.
  • Hate has a very specific legal meaning, one which differs from country to country. In Canada, the Criminal Code prohibits “advocating or promoting genocide against an ‘identifiable group’, which is defined as “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation”. The Code also prohibits inciting hatred against an identifiable group by communicating in a public place statements which are likely to lead to a breach of the peace; and communicating statements, other than in private conversation, that willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group. As well, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits the communication by means of telecommunications (including the Internet) of messages that are likely to expose a person to hatred or contempt on the basis of a wide range of characteristics that, in addition to those listed in the Criminal Code, also include age, marital or family status, disability or a conviction for which a pardon has been granted. Much of the hate material on the Internet – both what’s produced by organized hate groups and the more casual hatred that’s frequently found online – doesn’t meet the definition in the Criminal Code. 1 In fact, many involved in fighting Internet hate feel that existing laws are only effective with the most clear-cut examples of hate speech – and as we’ll see, some hate groups have become very canny at staying on the safe side of the law. While it may not technically be illegal, this material cannot be ignored: one report found more than 15,000 instances of hate and discrimination online in 2010. 2 For that reason, the definition of online hate used in this presentation is broader than the legal one, and includes all forms of online communication that denigrate or promote hatred of a particular group, and includes a wide range of forms of hate – from White supremacists to religious terrorists to those promoting hatred towards groups as varied as Mexicans, Koreans and Roma. _________________________ [1] Slane, A. Combatting Hate on the Internet: Current Canadian Efforts and the Recommendations of Non-Governmental Organizations to Improve upon Them . Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, 2007. [2] International Network Against Cyber Hate (2010). Report 2010 .
  • We’ve chosen to focus on how young people are exposed to online hate for a number of reasons. One is that the largest number of people in Canada who commit hate crimes offline are youth – primarily males between ages twelve and seventeen. [1] It’s therefore vitally important to reach youth before they can be influenced by hate material. _________________________ [1] Dauvergne, Mia and Shannon Brennan. Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2009 . Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
  • Teenagers are prime targets for hate groups because many are looking for groups or causes that will give them a sense of identity. Identity seeking is a natural part of adolescence but, taken to its extreme, this can provide a toe-hold for hate mongers. “Anomie” is the term that describes the state of mind in which family or cultural values appear worthless. Youth suffering from anomie will seek a group or cause that gives them values, an identity and a surrogate family. A common cause of anomie is when changing social conditions make it seem as though one’s identity is under attack. As one writer puts it, “a 15-year-old boy… without the benefit of firsthand experience of his country’s overtly racist past, may wonder why he has been pegged as the bad guy in history. He notices Black, Hispanic, and Asian student groups flourishing, yet he is branded a racist if he asks why there is no White student group. He is in the middle of cultural change without the tools to navigate it.” [1] Hate groups of all kinds are skilled at identifying those youth most likely to be vulnerable to their message, as can be seen in this quote shown here from the Skinhead group New Order. [2] Similarly, interviews with religious terrorists of all stripes have shown that they are typically inspired by a sense that their identities were under attack, and that terrorist leaders exploited these feelings of alienation and humiliation. [3] _________________________ [1] Blazak, Randy. “From White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads,” American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (2001), 982-1000. [2] New Order, cited in Blazak. [3] Rowland, Robert C. and Theye, Kirsten. “The Symbolic DNA of Terrorism,” Communication Monographs , 75:1 (2008), 52 – 85 Image Source: Valierio Pirrera, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
  • It’s important to point out that social conditions themselves don’t lead people to hate: several studies have found that members of hate or terrorist groups are often well-educated and come from middle or upper class families. It’s when economic and social problems – or the perception of such problems – are combined with a threat to one’s identity that people become vulnerable to messages of hate. As well, it should be noted that anomie can easily lead youth to more positive new identities. In fact, the profile of a typical early member of Al Qaeda – a middle-class, overeducated and underemployed youth – is almost exactly the same as that of a participant in the “Arab Spring” of 2011, in which repressive regimes in Egypt and Tunisia were brought down.
  • We’re now going to look at how young people get indoctrinated into hate. Radicalization is the process by which a person or a group’s attitudes become more extreme. An important part of radicalization is an increased identification with one’s own group. When people have been radicalized, their emotions become heightened with respect to their group: they’re made happier by its successes and sadder by its misfortunes. At its extreme, radicalization can lead people to believe that their lives – or the lives of others – are less important than the cause or group that has radicalized them. Psychologists and sociologists have identified a number of mechanisms by which individuals or groups can be radicalized. _________________________ Image Source: Valerio Pirrera, Creative Commons 2.0
  • Not everyone who is involved in a group is necessarily radicalized to the same degree. In fact, even within a hate group only a small number of people may be radicalized to the point where they are ready to advocate for and/or commit violence. One way of looking at the process is to think of any group or movement as a pyramid . The base of the pyramid is made up of sympathizers who support the group and share its ideals but aren’t actively involved in what it’s doing. They are typically the largest part of the group but also the least committed. The next level we might call the members . These are people who identify themselves strongly with the group and participate in its everyday activities. The final level consists of activists . These are the members who identify most strongly with the group and are likely to push it towards more radical positions and more extreme actions.
  • The process of radicalization can be seen as the way in which people move up the pyramid to identify more deeply with their group and become more willing to support or engage in extreme acts. To choose a positive example of this principle, we can identify the role all three groups played in the U.S. Civil Rights movement. People who believed in the end of segregation and full civil rights for African-Americans made up the base of supporters , and they were the ones who made possible the passage of legislation such as the Civil Rights Act. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Members consisted of individuals and members of organized groups who were actively involved in the struggle and participated in marches, boycotts and so on. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Finally, the activists were those who drove the movement to seek more ambitious goals and engaged in acts that were against the laws of the time, endangered their lives, or both. An example of these were the “Freedom Riders,” many of whom were beaten and arrested for riding into Southern states on integrated buses. The Civil Rights movement was committed to strictly non-violent action. In many other cases, though, high levels of commitment to a cause may lead people not only to risk being victims of violence but to justify violent acts against others. As we look at examples of online hate, it’s important to remember that hate groups are as interested in turning members into activists as they are in turning sympathizers into members. _________________________ Image source: National Museum of American History
  • In their article Mechanisms of Political Radicalization , Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko identify twelve ways in which a person or group may become more radicalized. Of those, five are of particular relevance to studying online hate: the slippery slope , the group as family , radicalization in like-minded groups , radicalization under isolation and threat , and radicalization in conflict with an outgroup. In most cases of radicalization more than one mechanism is at work. [1] _________________________ [1] McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko. “Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism.” Terrorism and Political Violence , 20:3 (2008), 415-433.
  • It’s rare for anyone to become radicalized by a single act or event – it is more often the culmination of many small steps. Research has shown that people have a tremendous ability to justify their actions, even actions they would normally consider to be wrong. (For instance, a person who forgets to leave a tip at a restaurant may retroactively find flaws with the service to justify not leaving a tip.) This can have the effect of shifting our morality: once we have established that something we previously considered wrong was actually right, more extreme actions may become permissible. This effect is particularly powerful online, where consequences are less obvious: the slope that leads from reading hateful content to creating it can be very slippery. A related mechanism is the idea of sunk costs , where the more resources we invest pursuing something, the more valuable these resources become. We can observe this in everyday life when we’re waiting for a bus: if a bus is late, at a certain point we will likely feel that we have invested so much time waiting that we cannot afford to give up and walk. A quote from one IRA member illustrates how this applies to radicalization: ‘There’s times I’ve said to myself, “Why? You’re mad in the head, like.’ But . . . I just can’t turn my back on it . . . there’s too many of my friends in jail, there’s too many of my mates given their lives, and I’ve walked behind – I’ve walked behind too many funerals to turn my back on it now.’’ [1] _________________________ [1] McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko. “Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism.” Terrorism and Political Violence , 20:3 (2008), 415-433.
  • That quote also demonstrates another important mechanism of radicalization, which is the powerful effect of belonging to a close-knit group. The social and emotional effects of being in a group can be just as powerful as whatever cause or ideology the group is committed to. Research has shown that members of hate groups such as skinheads will often act as mentors or “big brothers” to vulnerable youth, providing a sympathetic ear, an explanation for their problems and a way of taking action. This effect can be particularly powerful with young men who lack father figures or emotional support. [1] _________________________ [1] Blazak, Randy. “From White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads,” American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (2001), 982-1000. Image Source: “ We, the people”, Luginter.
  • All groups – even casual ones, like a focus group recruited to give their opinion on a political topic – are subject to a phenomenon where the average group member’s opinion will become more extreme over time. This may be because the more your opinion differs from other group members, the more pressure you feel to conform; so those who disagree with the majority are likely to change their opinion, while those who agree either maintain the same opinion or become more extreme in their views. An example of this is the Weather Underground, an American anti-war group, which in the 1970s moved from political protest to terrorism as a result of competition within the group over who was the “most radical.” [1] _________________________ [1] McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko. “Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism.” Terrorism and Political Violence , 20:3 (2008), 415-433.
  • People will identify more closely with a group if the group appears to be isolated or under external threat. The classic example of this is a platoon or squad of soldiers in wartime: it’s not uncommon for soldiers to consciously sacrifice their lives to save other members of their platoon. The same mechanism can apply to any group that feels threatened, especially if members are planning or committing, criminal or violent acts. Hate groups make use of this mechanism by casting themselves as rebels, outlaws or victims of other groups, and often of the government as well. Anti-Semitic groups often conflate the two by claiming that the Jewish community actually controls the U.S. government, which they call the “Zionist Occupation Government” or ZOG, and frequently exaggerate or fabricate encounters with government or law enforcement. Similarly, Al Qaeda and similar groups often use the term “Crusader” when referring to Western nations, drawing a historical parallel to the invasion of Islamic countries and the occupation of Jerusalem during the medieval Crusades and casting the group’s members as soldiers in a war. This mechanism can build not only group solidarity but conformity as well. As the threat makes the well-being of the group seem increasingly important, differences of opinion can come to seem dangerous or even treasonous.
  • A final technique for fostering radicalization is to portray opposing groups as being inhuman. This explicitly draws the line between the in- and out-groups and makes it easier to justify any action against them. For example, in World War II the Japanese were portrayed in a heavily caricatured style in American propaganda – always stereotyped, often threatening, and sometimes monstrous – with the result that roughly half of American soldiers were in favour of exterminating the Japanese nation after the war was over. In fact, servicemen who had not seen combat were actually more likely to advocate extermination – suggesting that it was exposure to propaganda, and not actual contact with the enemy, that had produced this attitude. [1] _________________________ [1] McCauley, Clark and Sophia Moskalenko. “Mechanisms of Political Radicalization: Pathways Toward Terrorism.” Terrorism and Political Violence , 20:3 (2008), 415-433. Image Source: US Government materials reproduced at The Authentic History Center
  • On the Internet and in other digital media, youth may encounter hate content in two different ways. One is through exposure to material created by organized hate groups or individuals who identify with them. While there may be widely differing perspectives and targets, the views of all hate groups share certain characteristics that distinguish them from people who are expressing legitimate political opinion. In reality, relatively few youth encounter material created by organized hate groups. [1] A more likely way they come across hate is through exposure to cultures of hatred – communities or environments where certain kinds of hate are normalized. Hate is also frequently a factor in online bullying and harassment, particularly in those communities. _________________________ [1] MediaSmarts. Young Canadians in a Wired World , 2005.
  • Many of the mechanisms of radicalization we’ve examined can be applied to movements or groups that do not use or promote violence (such as the Civil Rights movement) or that have strictly political aims (such as the Weather Underground). What distinguishes genuine hate groups is the presence of a particular worldview and beliefs that fall under an ideology of hate : a founding myth or story that the group tells about itself to define its identity, to establish a dehumanized Other who threatens that identity, and to justify and encourage violence in defense of the identity.
  • Fundamental to all ideologies of hate is the idea of a target group (or groups) designated as “Other”. This does not reflect an actual group as it exists in reality, but is instead a fiction created to solidify the identity of the hate group and justify its existence and its actions. To do this, the Other must be portrayed as being both inferior, to establish the hate group’s superiority, and threatening, to establish the need to take action against them. [1] The portrayal of the Other as being inferior is a long-standing one: Aristotle considered all non-Greeks to be “natural slaves,” incapable of being civilized. [2] It is largely because of the legacy of slavery in the Americas that African-Americans are most often portrayed in hate material as an inferior Other. This article, reprinted widely on White supremacist and neo-Nazi websites, is typical in its portrayal of Blacks as being primitive and inferior. This inferiority is invariably portrayed as an intrinsic quality: for example, this article ignores the many different peoples and cultures of Africa in favour of a single identification of “Negro culture”. Examples can be found of nearly every minority being portrayed in this way, as in this discussion of Native communities at a White supremacist discussion board. _________________________ [1] Meddaugh, P. M. “Hate Speech or "Reasonable Racism?" The Other in Stormfront,” Journal of Mass Media Ethics , 24:4 (2009), 251-268. [2] Aristotle, Politics. Image Source:
  • Equally important to a hate group’s self-narrative is the portrayal of the Other as a threat. This is not necessarily a physical threat, but more often a perceived threat to the hate group’s identity: a 2002 study of racist chat rooms found that participants responded less severely to the possibility of material threats (such as losing a job to an “Other”) and more viscerally to scenarios that imagined the Other harming the integrity or purity of the group, particularly through interracial sex or marriage. [1] Most hate groups are fairly careful to steer clear of infringing hate speech laws online, which means that they do not openly advocate violence towards their targets. Instead, they present distorted histories and interpretations of current events to implicitly suggest that violence is necessary to preserve the status and purity of the group. _________________________ [1] Glaser, J. “Studying Hate Crime With the Internet: What Makes Racists Advocate Racial Violence?” Journal of Social Issues , 58:1 (2002), 177-193. Image Source:
  • Another essential element of hate ideology is the notion that the group has fallen from its once-glorious past. Generally, this fall is portrayed as being the fault of either the Other or of members of the group who were fooled or subverted by the Other. As a result, it is only by defeating and destroying the Other that this glorious past can be regained. Members of the group must first be educated about that glorious past, however, because the Other has also done their best to erase it from history. This is why White supremacist groups are so concerned about initiatives to introduce multicultural elements into History classes, and why skinheads see Black History Month as a recruiting opportunity. _________________________ Image Source:
  • This element is central in material produced by Al Qaeda and similar groups, which frequently call for the restoration of the “Caliphate” a single state that will include all countries that were ever part of the Islamic world, including Spain. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Despite portraying the Other as being inherently inferior, claiming to be victims themselves – and rejecting the idea of the Other as a victim – is central to ideologies of hate. For instance, this article by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan not only minimizes the trauma of slavery but claims that Whites were its true victims. As well as eliminating any possible sympathy for the enemy, victimhood is tremendously effective in appealing to those youth who are most vulnerable to hate messages. One skinhead recruiter described his tactics: “I say, 'Did you ever own a slave? Did you ever kill an Indian? So why are they trying to make you feel guilty for being White?’ Before they can answer I’d start telling them about ZOG.” [1] Of course, being part of a group that genuinely has been victimized does not prevent someone from subscribing to an ideology of hate, as can be seen by this quote from the Jewish Internet Defense Force. _________________________ [1] Blazak, Randy. “From White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads”. American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (2001), 982-1000. Image Sources:
  • A related idea is that the in-group is superior due to divine or natural sanction. Racially motivated hate groups often use outdated or distorted genetic or anthropological theories to argue their superiority, while others claim that their special status is granted by God. In either case, the claim serves to deny the other’s humanity – and to justify the in-group’s hatred. This idea of a special sanction manifests itself in two ways. First is the idea of an upcoming final conflict, in which the group will defeat its enemies and retake its rightful place. For most hate groups this remains perpetually in the realm of myth, but some groups – and, more often, individuals – take action in the service of this idea. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Second, the special status of the group elevates its defeats to the level of martyrdom. This is a constantly recurring theme in hate material, and another effective tool in radicalizing supporters: many members of far-right groups, for example, point to the actions of U.S. Federal agents at Ruby Ridge and Waco as their inspiration. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Like all Web content, online hate comes in a variety of forms. The most public face includes websites and blogs maintained by hate groups: in fact, hate groups were some of the earliest adopters of the Internet, moving their existing materials wholesale first onto discussion groups and then to Web pages. While Web publishing is much cheaper and easier than print publishing, the costs and technical demands of creating a website in the early days of the Web meant that only the larger hate groups had an online presence. Today, with the easy availability of blogging platforms and simple Web publishing software, hate sites have proliferated to as many as 14,000, according to a 2011 study. [1] While most of these are simple screeds, the more sophisticated ones mimic popular commercial websites, with many offering audiovisual material and discussion forums and some featuring professional-looking layout and graphics. A small number of websites are specifically designed to appeal to youth and children, such as this one sponsored by Hamas with content that promotes suicide terrorism. [2] _________________________ [1] Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Digital Terrorism and Hate 2011 . [2] Weimann, Gabriel. “Narrowcasting: The trend in online terrorism,” The Gazette 70:3 (2008), 23. Slide: Quote from McNamee, L., Pena, J., & Peterson, B. “A Call to Educate, Participate, Invoke and Indict: Understanding the Communication of Online Hate Groups,” Communication Monographs , 77: 2 (2010), 257-280. Image Sources:
  • The site shown here illustrates a trend away from general-purpose websites towards “narrowcasting” – targeting a specific group with content that is known to resonate with them. Narrowcasting also makes the target feel as though he is part of a community with shared ideals and values. [1] One way hate groups do this is through the media most popular with youth: music and videos. Many teenagers turn to musical genres and subcultures to help define their identities, and hate music producers take advantage of this. While “hate rock” is no longer the cash cow it once was for the larger hate groups [2] – which have fallen victim to the same woes as the mainstream music industry, as well as their own internal troubles – it remains widespread not just on hate sites but on file-sharing sites and mainstream services such as YouTube and iTunes. Hate groups also use the Web’s video-sharing services to connect youth seeking guidance, support and validation to hate leaders such as David Duke or Al Qaeda’s Anwar Al-Awlaki. _________________________ [1] Royal Canadian Mounted Police. “Youth Online and At Risk: Radicalization Facilitated by the Internet,” 2011. [2] Kim, T.K. “White Noise,” Southern Poverty Law Centre Intelligence Report , 121 (Spring 2006). Image Source:
  • Hate groups make a similar effort to appeal to youth through video games, though the games tend to be more primitive and less effective than music: it’s easier to create garage-band quality punk or heavy metal music than to make an entertaining video game. Most are simple Flash creations with little replay value, such as the anti-Muslim game Minaret Attack , though a few – like the Hezbollah-made Special Force – aspire to the production values of commercial games. It’s hard to imagine youth spending much time playing any of these, but their sheer outrageousness may provide a “guilty pleasure” that could serve as an early step down the slippery slope. Perhaps more significant is the way in which hate groups have drawn on games to encourage users to participate in their sites and forums. This, too, is reflective of a broader trend of “gamification”, which has become one of the most common business buzzwords online. Like players of World of Warcraft or other online games, participants on sites such as Stormfront or Salafi Media gain increasing “levels” as they participate: posting, commenting and taking on responsibilities such as moderating others’ comments can earn users higher status and special titles or privileges.
  • Research [1] has shown that the messages that are most persuasive to youth are those where the hate is implicit and communicated in the form of a story or narrative. While music and games can be effective in communicating this style of message, social media is tailor-made for it. Some hate groups have created their own social networking sites, but these are almost irrelevant: it’s much more effective to reach youth through the commercial sites they’re already using. Although Facebook has improved how it handles complaints about material that advocates violence, more cautious hate groups continue to use it as a platform. The greatest advantage of social media is not that it allows hate groups to reach youth, but that it allows youth to disseminate hate material themselves. The ability of social media to help youth find friends and mentors is key to developing the sense of group identity that’s so important in the radicalization process. _________________________ [1] Lee, E., & Leets, L. “Persuasive Storytelling by Hate Groups Online - Examining Its Effects on Adolescents,” American Behavioural Scientist , 45:6 (2002), 927-957. Image Sources:
  • Another vehicle which delivers the implicit, high-narrative messages that resonate most with youth are cloaked sites. These sites, which present themselves as being neutral and educational, communicate a subtle message of hate, where their true nature only gradually becomes apparent. To achieve this, cloak sites put on as many of the trappings of legitimacy as possible –using a dot-org Web address, for example, or having an official-sounding name. Similarly, hate groups often “hijack” reputable figures to their cause, selectively quoting or simply inventing quotes from figures such as Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. The White supremacist National Policy Institute has flooded Facebook with pages about famous figures such as Thomas Jefferson, all of which serve to present a biased and distorted view of history. Another way hate sites cloak their true nature is to portray themselves as simply fostering debate: this Holocaust denial site, for instance, claims that its mission is to “encourage intellectual freedom with respect to the holocaust controversy.” We should not underestimate the ability of these sites to misinform young people. A 2003 study reports that when students in a first-year University class were asked to critically evaluate the site martinlutherking.org, a cloaked site created by the hate group Stormwatch, almost none were able to recognize that it was biased or identify the point of view of its author. [1] _________________________ [1] Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B., Diana R. Grant and Chau-Pu Ching. “Hate Online: A Content Analysis of Extremist Internet Sites,” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy , 3:1 (2003), 29-44.
  • Because of the networked nature of the Internet, it’s also possible for youth to encounter hate material entirely by accident. In MediaSmarts’ 2001 study Young Canadians in a Wired World, seven per cent of students surveyed reported having encountered hate material by accident, compared to five per cent who said they had found it on purpose. (It’s worth considering, though, how many of those who landed on cloaked sites recognized that they had done so – given how few students recognized the intent of martinlutherking.org.) Accidental contact may happen through search engine results – cloaked sites use a variety of means to make sure they turn up in searches on innocuous topics – or through hate content being housed on general-interest sites. For instance, news stories on controversial topics often attract hateful comments. This “Border Patrol” game, where players shoot Mexicans attempting to cross the U.S. border and which appears to have originated on the White Aryan Resistance website, can also be found on eBaum’s World, a site that hosts Flash games and videos and is one of the most popular sites among teenage boys. Some groups have also been successful in hacking other sites to spread their message – as when an anonymous group hacked the Jerusalem Online site to display anti-Semitic comments.
  • Whatever means they use to get their messages across, hate groups consistently use a number of techniques to persuade potential supporters. It’s important to remember that not all of these techniques are meant to recruit youth, but rather to move them along the different stages of the pyramid of radicalization: some are intended to build general support, some to turn casual supporters into active members, and some to radicalize members into concrete action. One technique used by hate sites to elicit sympathizers is to present themselves as educational resources. This is true not just of cloaked sites – which masquerade as mainstream sources of information – but of more overt hate sites as well, which often present themselves as giving “the real story”. Many of the latter sites also attack the mainstream educational system and call on supporters to educate their friends, families and communities about the “real” truth. [1] _________________________ [1] McNamee, L., J. Pena & B. Peterson. “ A Call to Educate, Participate, Invoke and Indict: Understanding the Communication of Online Hate Groups,” Communication Monographs , 77:2 (2010), 257-280. Image Source:
  • Despite their contempt for the education system and mainstream media, these sites adopt many of their markers of credibility -- quoting from old editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica , for example, or selectively citing articles from reputable sources such as the Wall Street Journal . This site, for instance, initially represents itself as “an introspection on the impact of immigration on Canada,” but scrolling down makes the site’s true nature clear. In one study [1] a third of hate sites denied being racist or a hate group – despite their use of overt hate language. The home page for Radio Islam, for instance, says “No hate. No violence. Races? Only one human race” at the top left, while simultaneously saying “Know Your Enemy! No time to waste. Act now!” at the top right. _________________________ [1] Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B., Diana R. Grant and Chau-Pu Ching. “Hate Online: A Content Analysis of Extremist Internet Sites,” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy , 3:1 (2003), 29-44. Image Sources:
  • The best-known misinformation tactic is denialism, most often in the form of claims that the Holocaust either did not happen or has been exaggerated. Sites like these rely on elaborate technical arguments about gas absorption or railcar fumigation: if readers lack the technical background to challenge the writer’s points, they are less likely to challenge the broader conclusions drawn from them. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Though Holocaust denialism is the most common form of this technique, it is applied to other groups and events as well. The common threat is always a denial of the target group’s claim to victimhood – for instance, many anti-gay groups such as the Family Defense Council claim that gays were actively and openly involved in the Nazi government of Germany. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Using a flood of supposed “facts” and statistics is the hallmark of another hate group technique: misinformation through pseudo-science. Many sites draw on outdated scientific theories such as eugenics and phrenology to substantiate their arguments. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Naturally, many of the techniques used by hate groups are intended to build group solidarity. Calls to protect the group, and in particular those who are considered the most vulnerable within the group, are useful both for building support and for radicalizing supporters. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Similarly, hate groups take advantage of existing group loyalties by portraying themselves as defenders of their nation, and by positioning those designated as ‘the other’ as the enemy. Following the September 11 attacks, for instance, many far-right groups not only turned their attention to Muslims but also began to claim that Israel had somehow been involved. _________________________ Image Source:
  • An appeal to religion can be an even stronger tool for building solidarity. Nearly all hate groups do this in some way, whether it’s to provide authority to back up their claims – or to deny the legitimacy of the other. _________________________ Image Source:
  • In addition to building group solidarity, hate groups try to bolster members’ self-esteem by giving them an opportunity to think of themselves as heroes in defense of the group. As well as encouraging supporters to become active members, this hero-villain narrative provides a positive identity and a structure that group members can use to give their lives meaning. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Creating a sense of urgency around a threat is essential for hate groups to radicalize members. They are also very effective at using current or controversial issues to transform fear and worry into hate: for example, hate groups in the United States have used the election of Barack Obama – and the false “controversy” over his place of birth – to build support, while anxieties about immigration in the UK have led to the creation of an entirely new hate group, the English Defence League. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Finally, hate groups will portray the other in ways that emphasize difference – making them seem strange, even sub-human. This is often done through caricature or stereotype, through name-calling, or through ideology: in some cases hate groups will claim that others are literally not human, such as the use of the term “mud people” to describe Blacks and the claim that Jews are descendants of Satan. As we’ve seen, dehumanization is one of the basic mechanisms of radicalization and is a necessary one for hate groups to promote their ultimate message: only by imagining the other as so fundamentally different as to be inhuman can their annihilation be justified. _________________________ Image Source:
  • Youth don’t have to encounter overt hate speech to be exposed to hate. Much more common are what could be called cultures of hatred : communities in which racism, misogyny and other prejudices are normalized. Through the mechanism of radicalization in like-minded groups, those who join these communities are likely to find their own views and opinions influenced by the values of the community. _________________________ Image Source:
  • A good example of this is the culture of online gaming. In 2010 GAMBIT, the MIT game lab, conducted an experiment in which players adopted screen names that identified them as being members of minority groups, such as “Proud_2B_Muslim” and “GayPride90,” while playing the game Halo:Reach on Xbox Live. In each case, although the players behaved no differently than they otherwise would they received significant amounts of abusive language and, in some cases, were even killed within the game by their own team members.
  • Similarly, many online environments – especially those popular with teenage boys, such as eBaum’s World, Newgrounds and 4chan – have fairly high “baseline” levels of racism, sexism and homophobia. Even sites that don’t make a virtue of being offensive, such as Reddit, may host hate content in their forums.
  • This free-floating hate can sometimes coalesce into more targeted and organized forms. In the multiplayer online game World of Warcraft , anger among players about “gold farmers” – professional players, largely based in Asia, who play the game only to be able to sell the characters or items they acquire to other players – developed into a widespread animosity towards Asians in general and Chinese in particular. The result was the production of films mocking Chinese players, such as the one seen here, which drew on classic Asian stereotypes such as the “China doll” character and the idea that Chinese kidnap pet cats and dogs to eat (though there are no pets within the game) as well as organized attacks within the game on players believed to be Chinese.
  • There’s not always a clear line between organized hate and cultures of hatred, where the most extreme voices in these communities may be involved in organized hate. This British website, for example, is a general forum for discussing “laddish” interests – video games, drinking, sex, and so on – and discussions here are routinely hateful towards women, Blacks and other groups. While for most users this is simply part of the culture of the site, a small number do appear to identify with organized hate groups – such as “Kurtz,” who is using the site to promote a Neo-Nazi video game. (Note that this is a moderated forum, so the site’s moderators were presumably aware of this content.) _________________________ Image Source:
  • This demonstrates one of the ways in which online hate can do harm: by turning the Internet into an unfriendly environment for members of targeted groups. Hatemongers “troll” mainstream sites, making racist or otherwise hateful comments to get a rise from some people and/or elicit sympathetic comments from others. [1] A 2004 study found that one in five participants in moderated chat rooms were exposed to negative remarks about a racial or ethnic group, while nearly two-thirds of those who participated in unmoderated chat rooms were. [2] Of course, today most online communication is unmoderated. This can have much more serious effects than simply making people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, and studies have shown that experiencing discrimination online can cause stress, anxiety and depression. [3] _________________________ [1] Tynes, Brendesha et al. “Online Racial Discrimination and Psychological Adjustment Among Adolescents,” Journal of Adolescent Health , 43:6 (2008), 565. [2] Tynes, Brendesha, Lindsay Reynolds and Patricia M. Greenfield. “Adolescence, Race and Ethnicity on the Internet: A comparison of discourse in monitored vs. unmonitored chat rooms,” Applied Developmental Psychology 25 (2004), 667–684. [3] Tynes, 2008. Image Source:
  • In some cases hate groups – or individuals who identify with them – may target individuals for harassment. This may occur online – as in the case of an 11-year-old Jewish boy who was told it was “too bad” his grandparents had survived the Holocaust [1] – or offline, as in the case of Bonnie Jouhari, who was harassed by a White supremacist who, angered by her work for an organization that advocated for nondiscriminatory housing practices, posted attacks on her and photos of her workplace in flames on his website. Shortly thereafter she began receiving harassing phone calls and was followed by an unknown car, which ultimately led to her moving several times to escape harassment. [2] Not surprisingly, there is a close connection between hate and cyberbullying: for example, LGBT youth are almost twice as likely to report having been bullied online. [3] _________________________ [1] Tiven, Lorraine. “Hate on the Internet: A Response Guide for Educators and Families.” Anti-Defamation League, 2003. [2] Daniels, Jessie. “Race, Civil Rights, and Hate Speech in the Digital Era." Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media , ed. Anna Everett. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008, 129–154. [3] “Bullying, Cyberbullying and Sexual Orientation.” Cyberbullying Research Center Image Source: Chad Johnson, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 < http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjohnson/4933589/sizes/o/in/photostream/>
  • Being the target of hate can lead to a wide variety of responses: feelings of fear, frustration, and shame are common, especially if targets feel they have nowhere to turn for help or if they receive unsympathetic treatment from those to whom they report the incident. It may be for this reason that more than half of hate crimes are never reported to the police. (This is particularly true of those who belong to two or more disadvantaged groups.) As well, being a victim of hate crimes can result in seeing the world as less orderly and meaningful, feeling anger towards the dominant community and having problems in personal relationships. Whole communities can also be affected when individuals are targeted: the victimization of one member of a group may lead to the feeling that all members of that group are vulnerable. Some have argued that the negative effects of hate crimes ripple outward, from harm done to the individual to that done to the group and other vulnerable communities and to the norms and values of society in general. [1] _________________________ [1] Working With Victims of Crime: A Manual Applying Research to Clinical Practice . Department of Justice, 2009.
  • Many hate groups use the Internet to recruit new members [1], but there is little evidence to suggest that they are successfully reaching out to youth in general: rather, they make hate material available to those youth who are already looking for it. This is why most of the material on these sites does not try to persuade the general public, choosing instead to address those who already sympathize with the cause and radicalize them to become more active members. For example, Nidal Malik Hasan, who is alleged to have shot 42 soldiers at the Fort Hood military base, has said that he was inspired by videos and e-mails from Anwar Al-Awlaki, as have several other terrorists. [2] _________________________ [1] Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B., Diana R. Grant and Chau-Pu Ching. “Hate Online: A Content Analysis of Extremist Internet Sites,” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 3:1 (2003), 29-44. [2] Brachman, Jarrett and Alix Levine. “The World of Holy Warcraft,” Foreign Policy , April 13, 2011. Image Sources:
  • The Hasan case shows that the main concern about hate material is not recruitment but incitement . Rather than attempting to organize actions themselves, hate groups may post material encouraging violence against target groups – with advice on how to carry it out – in the hopes that readers will take it as a call to action, though they will typically avoid directly advocating violence. _________________________ Image Source:
  • As we’ve seen, misinformation is hate groups’ stock-in-trade. As youth overwhelmingly turn to the Internet as a source of information, they run the risk of being misled by hate content. If that misinformation is not challenged – and they don’t have the critical thinking skills to challenge it themselves – some youth may come to hold dangerously distorted views. [1] Hate groups aim to control how issues like race, religion and ethnicity are framed, and one important way of doing this is through rewriting history. Ultimately, these groups hope to write their enemies out of history entirely. _________________________ [1] Daniels, Jessie. “Race, Civil Rights, and Hate Speech in the Digital Era." Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media , ed. Anna Everett. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008, 129–154. Image Sources:
  • Another goal of hate groups is to move themselves – and their message – into the mainstream. We’ve already seen examples of online communities that either tolerate hate content or have become full-blown cultures of hatred, and the broader culture is by no means immune to this effect. The ways in which ideas can spread on the Internet means that it is easier than ever for hate content to make the jump to the mainstream: for example, the myth that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States was originally only found on far-right websites, but by 2011 it was being raised by a highly public figure and U.S. Presidential candidate on national television. _________________________ Image Source:
  • As we’ve seen, fighting online hate isn’t easy. What’s needed is a comprehensive anti-hate program that encompasses all of the skills and habits youth need when they encounter online hate. One important component of this is to encourage youth to develop empathy so that they can recognize and respond to hate when they see it – and to refrain from becoming involved in cultures of hatred. Many empathy-building interventions that have been shown to be useful in fighting bullying, such has the Roots of Empathy program, can be applied to fighting hate as well.
  • A related tactic is social norming : encouraging positive behaviours by showing a community how common they are. Anti-racism groups such as Teaching Tolerance and the Anti-Racism Resource Centre have a number of valuable resources to encourage promoting diversity and empathy as social norms. _________________________ Image Sources:
  • By helping youth to develop empathy, we encourage them not just to ignore hate content but to confront it as well. One way of doing this is through the law, using one of two possible approaches – both of which have significant limitations. The first is through making a complaint to the police – either local police (some local police forces, such as those in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, have dedicated hate crime units), or the provincial or territorial police or RCMP (such as Ontario’s Hate Crime/Extremism Investigative Team and the B.C. Hate Crime Team joint forces initiative). As we’ve seen, though, relatively few examples of online hate meet the definition provided in the Criminal Code, and there have been few prosecutions of hate speech under the Code. The definition of hate under the Canadian Human Rights Act is less rigorous, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has been the main legal mechanism for addressing online hate. Most anti-hate groups do not suggest that individuals make complaints to the Tribunal, however, because of the likelihood of threats and reprisals.[1] _________________________ [1] Slane, A. Combating Hate on the Internet: Current Canadian Efforts and the Recommendations of Non-Governmental Organizations to Improve upon Them . Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, 2007.
  • One benefit of having dedicated hate crime units is that youth who commit hate crimes are likely to benefit from extra-judicial interventions. While hate crimes cannot be tolerated, Randy Blazak, in his study of the recruitment of neo-Nazi skinheads, points out that in many cases sending these youth to jail is the very worst thing we can do. As we’ve seen, the majority of those who commit hate crimes are not members of hate groups, but organizations such as the Aryan Brotherhood use prisons as their main source of recruits. Youth who are members of hate groups can also be reached, as well as those who are most vulnerable to hate messages. As Randy Blazak puts it, “the illogic of racism and bigotry can be illuminated.” [1] _________________________ [1] Blazak, Randy. “From White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads,” American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (2001), 982-1000. Image Source: Prison: Tim Pearce, Los Gatos
  • Another means of fighting hate is to report it to the service or site that hosts the content. Many Internet Service Providers (ISP), for instance, will remove hate content that is hosted on their servers if they’re made aware of it (a Whois search can show who hosts a site). While ISPs may choose to remove hate material, though, the fact that most hate groups are hosted on servers in the United States, where there are almost no legal limitations on hate speech, means that there is very little that can be done to force them to remove it. Many sites that house user-generated content do have formal reporting mechanisms for reporting hate content, such as the ability to “Report” a page or profile on Facebook or to “Flag” a video on YouTube. Because of the huge volume of content on these sites, they rely on users to alert them to hate material. [1] Each of these sites has its own standard for what will be removed: Facebook, for instance, has removed pages that call for violence but has refused to take down pages associated with hate groups or Holocaust denial material. [2] Even when groups or videos are taken down, though, it’s easy for people to simply re-post it. As well, some people have questioned whether sites should be responsible for deciding which kinds of speech are permissible and which are not. [3] _________________________ [1] Watters, Audrey. “YouTube Asks Users to Flag Videos That Promote Terrorism.” ReadWriteWeb , December 13, 2010. [2] Helft, Miguel. “Facebook Wrestles With Free Speech and Civility.” The New York Times , December 12, 2010. [3] Ibid.
  • Luckily, the Internet enables anti-hate groups to spread their message, as well. Organizations such as Teaching Tolerance, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and events such as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination provide resources and opportunities for fighting online hate.
  • There is no way to protect youth from being exposed to Internet hate. As we’ve seen, even if filtering systems block the most overt hate content, much of what’s online either appears in cloaked form or in mainstream environments. As a result, we need to assume that youth will encounter hate content and prepare them to deal with it – and to recognize it when they see it. This can be a difficult subject for adults to address, but it’s better that young people learn about it from us – before they learn from someone else. The Partners Against Hate guide Helping Youth Resist Bias and Hate has some advice on how to respond to hate speech and incidents in the school and community. One tip is to be prepared – identify ahead of time when concerns might arise, such as when you are teaching texts or topics where race, religion or sexuality is an issue. As well, be aware of events in the news or the community that might lead to expressions of bias or hatred. MediaSmarts’ own website has a wide variety of resources to help deal with these issues, including the Responding to Online Hate guide, interactive games and a series of lesson plans that complement this tutorial. Finally, be ready to direct students who may be emotionally affected by this material to resources for counselling. Youth who identify strongly with their community should be encouraged to use resources within that community, such as PFLAG Canada (www.pflagcanada.ca/) and the Canadian Jewish Congress (www.cjc.ca). If there are no relevant community resources, you can direct youth to Kids Help Phone (www.kidshelpphone.ca).
  • When a student brings hateful content forward, it’s usually because they have been exposed to it through family, friends, or media – by being introduced to a “mainstreaming” hate site, for instance, or coming across a cloaked hate site while doing school research. When this happens, it’s important not to let it go unchallenged – but at the same time, addressing it before you’re ready to respond can hurt your credibility. It’s all right to say “No, that’s not true, and I’ll explain why not tomorrow.” Find out where the student got his or her information or viewpoint and take the time to prepare your response. There are a lot of good resources on the Web for doing this, such as Snopes (a hoax-busting site) and Teaching Tolerance’s education kits. Many school boards and Ministries of Education also have resources available that can help you address these issues. Finally, do everything you can to create a classroom where diversity is respected. Make sure that students understand that any sort of bullying is not acceptable in your classroom, watch out for stereotypes in educational material and ensure that diversity in curricular material is not just a “frill” or something that’s only raised on holidays or events such as Black History Month. By celebrating diversity throughout the year you also reduce the risk that students from minority communities will feel singled out when you discuss it. [1] As Leila Christenbury puts it in her book Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Teacher of English Language Arts , “We would be naïve if we did not recognize that language can… be used as a potent weapon. As teachers, one way we can blunt such language is to demystify it and to examine it rationally.” _________________________ [1] Program Activity Guide: Helping Youth Resist Bias and Hate . Partners Against Hate, 2003.
  • It’s also important for youth to understand the historical context in which hate speech occurs. Without knowing the history of slavery and civil rights, or the long history of anti-Semitism – not to mention the phenomenon of White privilege – it’s difficult to understand the difference between reasonable debate and hate material. Make sure, though, that students understand the purpose of raising these issues isn’t to blame them or make them feel guilty but to promote justice for everyone. _________________________ Image Source:
  • As well as understanding the historical context, researchers and policymakers around the world are agreed that teaching media literacy is a key tactic in fighting online hate.
  • One key concept of media literacy is the idea that media are constructions that re-present reality . Media products are created by individuals who make conscious and unconscious choices about what to include, what to leave out, and how to present what is included. These decisions are based on the creators’ own point of view, which will have been shaped by their opinions, assumptions and biases – as well as media they have been exposed to. The more youth are aware that everything online is constructed – possibly by someone with a particular agenda in mind – the more they’ll be aware of the need to understand who is behind what they’re seeing.
  • It’s easy for youth to dismiss the significance of the media they consume, especially music and games. But given that our understanding of the world is influenced by the media we consume, it’s important to recognize that media contain ideological messages – about values, power, and authority – which have social and political implications. _________________________ Image Sources:
  • One excuse that’s often used by hate groups is the claim that they’re simply being colour blind – asking, for example, why there is no White equivalent to Black History Month. We can understand the fallacy in this argument through the concept that audiences negotiate meaning . White and Black students, for instance, are likely to perceive a typical history class quite differently: while Black students may recognize the Eurocentric nature of most history curricula – which Black History Month is designed to remedy – White students are more likely to see it as “just history.” As well, students will likely see the idea of Black History Month differently depending on their understanding of its historical context: without an understanding of the history of race in North America, youth cannot understand how two seemingly identical ideas can have such different connotations. [1] _________________________ [1] Blazak, Randy. “From White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads.” American Behavioral Scientist 44:6 (2001), 982-1000.
  • Teaching youth to think critically about all the media they consume is essential to prepare them to recognize both overt and cloaked hate. One of the most crucial critical thinking skills is to know how to verify sources. As we’ve noted earlier, hate groups often put considerable effort into making their sites look legitimate by including many of the markers that youth use to determine legitimacy: a dot-org Web address, quotes and citations from other sources (even if those are distorted, misquoted, made up or are just quoted from other hate groups), claims of expertise (nearly every author on hate sites is a “doctor”, and many groups call themselves “institutes”), and an appealing and professional design.[1] Youth also place a great deal of importance on search engine rankings, usually clicking on the first search result without checking other hits. Unfortunately, the algorithms used by search engines are not necessarily designed to provide the most reliable information: for example, for many years the top hit on Google for the term “Jew” was the anti-semitic group Jewwatch. (It’s now typically number two, thanks to the increased popularity of Wikipedia.) [2] We can teach youth a wide variety of skills for verifying sources, such as doing a link search to find out who links to a site or a Whois search to show who owns a domain. Even doing a Google search on a source can reveal if it’s considered to be reliable: for instance, when we do a search for “National Policy Institute” the second hit after the site itself is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which identifies it as a leading source of “academic racism”. _________________________ [1] Flanagin, Andrew J, M. Metzger et al. Kids and Credibility: An Empirical Examiniation of Youth, Digital Media use and Information Credibility. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. [2] “Found Out About Jew”, Snopes.com. Image Sources:
  • If we teach young people about the techniques hate groups use to make their arguments – and the common elements of their ideologies – we can help alert them to “red flags” that show a source is trying to manipulate them or provide biased information. A close look at the National Policy Institute website, for example, reveals the use of pseudo-science (“The Wealth and IQ of Nations”) as well as scare tactics (“Impending white exodus from South Africa,” “Global White population to plummet”). _________________________ Image Source:
  • Another important aspect of critical thinking is authenticating facts. As we’ve seen, hate groups often shamelessly distort, misrepresent or invent quotes and facts. That’s why it’s important to teach youth to verify the sources of any information they’re presented with. For example, this article, reprinted widely on hate sites, quotes extensively from the Encyclopedia Britannica to support its argument – the 1911 edition, that is.
  • However much we wish it, online hate isn’t going away. It can be a difficult subject for teachers, parents and community leaders to address, but it’s better that youth learn about it from us – before they learn from someone else.

That's Not Me - Diversity and Media That's Not Me - Diversity and Media Presentation Transcript

  • Facing Online Hate 1. Defining Hate 2. Why Focus on Youth? 3. Radicalization: How Attitudes Become More Extreme 4. How Youth Encounter Hate Material Targeted Hate Cultures of Hate 5. How Online Hate Does Harm 6. Strategies for Facing Online Hate
  • Defining Hate“If tigers threaten us and hurt us, all tigers are targets.”
  • Hate and the Law
  • Why Focus On Youth
  • Victims and persons accused of police-reported hate crimes,by age group, 2009Source: Statistics Canada
  • “Recruit Skins or covert activists fromPunk Rockers and from the group ofdisaffected White kids who feel “left out,”isolated, unpopular, or on the fringe ormargin of things at school (outsiders,loners). There are some very effective peopleamong such kids, and working with Naziskinheads will give them a sense ofaccomplishment, attainment, success, andbelonging.”Action Plan for Aryan Skinheads
  • Radicalization:How Attitudes Become More Extreme Radicalization: an increase in and/or reinforcing of extremism in the thinking, sentiments, and/or behavior of individuals and/or groups of individuals. David R. Mandel, Radicalization: What Does It Mean?
  • ACTIVISTS MEMBERSSYMPATHIZERS
  • SYMPATHIZERS
  • MEMBERS
  • ACTIVISTS
  • Mechanisms of Radicalization • The Slippery Slope • The Group as Family • Radicalization in Like-Minded Groups • Radicalization Under Isolation and Threat • Radicalization in Conflict With an Outgroup Based on Mechanisms of Political Radicalization by Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskaleno
  • The Slippery Slope“There’s times I’ve said to myself,‘Why? You’re mad in the head, like.’But… I just can’t turn my back on it . . .there’s too many of my friends in jail,there’s too many of my mates giventheir lives, and I’ve walked behind – I’vewalked behind too many funerals toturn my back on it now.”
  • The Group as Family
  • Radicalization in Like-Minded Groups
  • Radicalization Under Isolation or Threat
  • Radicalization in Conflict With an OutgroupDehumanization
  • How Youth Encounter Hate Material Online Targeted Hate Ideologies of Hate Forms Techniques Cultures of Hatred Cultural Norms Conducive to Hate Hate and Cyberbullying
  • Targeted Hate Ideologies of Hate “The Other” As Inferior As Threat The Glorious Past Victimhood Divine or Natural Sanction The Coming Conflict Martyrdom
  • “The Other”As Inferior “You cannot turn “Negro culture is not merely low IQ primitive, savages into First different from White culture; it is a less advanced culture and, by If World whites. practically any standard,aboriginals these inferior. It is a culture which never mental had the wherewithal to advanced to the point of a written build a great language or a civilized society. It civilization, they never saw even the barest would. But they do glimmerings of mathematics or not because they the invention of the wheel.” cannot.”
  • “The Other”As Threat
  • The Glorious Past “… revealed in this work is the one true cause of the rise and fall of the world’s greatest empires – that all civilizations rise and fall according to their racial homogeneity and nothing else.”
  • The Glorious Past “The Muslim lands, where the future Caliphate will be re-established over, covers a huge area from Spain in the west all the way to Indonesia in the East.”
  • Victimhood“Slavery had a pernicious impacton White people in America,corrupting those classes whoowned slaves and harming thoseWhites who did not… Its realdamage has been that it placed apeople in our midst who as agroup have little aptitude for our “I say, ‘Did you ever own a “Because Islamyouaever kill and slave? Did is hateful antechnology, no empathy with our violent ideologywhy arepreachesculture, no adulation for our history Indian? So which they hate and violence against ALLand heroes, and no love for us, non-Muslims make you feel guilty trying to (especially Jews, asonly resentment for perceived past it is for being White?’ Before they obsessed with us, andwrongs.” dehumanizes usI’d start telling can answer as apes and them about ZOG.” pigs), we are against ALL mosques.”
  • Divine or Natural SanctionThe Coming Conflict “God who made our Father – who is Adam, the perfect man – is Father to all of the White Northern European Men. We are descended from God and not from the Devil, as are all other men in the world.”
  • Divine or Natural SanctionMartyrdom
  • FormsWebsites “We don’t really need the media anymore… the only thing we need is the Internet.” Thomas Robb, National Director of the Ku Klux Klan
  • FormsVideos and Music
  • FormsGames
  • FormsSocial Media
  • FormsCloaked Sites www.thenationalpolicyinstitute.org
  • FormsAccidental Contact
  • TechniquesMisinformation “It is often very difficult to approach the subject of white pride or racial integrity. “What is your reason for home schooling?” they may ask. Of course, you know that it is because you are sick and tired of your kids being told to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. or to glorify homosexuals and their lifestyle. You don’t like your children’s school – day in and day out anti-white propaganda.”
  • TechniquesMisinformation: Mainstreaming
  • TechniquesMisinformation: Denialism
  • TechniquesMisinformation: Denialism
  • TechniquesMisinformation: Pseudo-Science
  • TechniquesGroup Solidarity
  • TechniquesGroup Solidarity: Nationalism
  • TechniquesGroup Solidarity: Religion
  • TechniquesGroup Solidarity: Hero Narrative
  • TechniquesScare Tactics
  • TechniquesOthering
  • Cultures of Hatred
  • Cultures of HatredProud_2B_Muslim GayPride90Who would be proud to Who is this faggot?be Muslim?He’s trying to die to get his Quit gaying up our game.72 virgins.I’m trying to kill the Muslim. I ain’t playing with a fag. Fags ruined this country.Yay. The Muslim’s dead. Run, gayboy, run!
  • Cultures of Hatred
  • Cultures of HatredWhere did all the doggies and kitty cats goSince the gold farmers started to showDon’t want to know what’s in that egg rollNot supposed to be here anywayI don’t know any other way to conveyHow much we wish you’d all just go away
  • Cultures of Hatred
  • HarmHostile Environments Hi. I was on my character LartinMuther I know, cheesy parody, hosting a guild in honor of MLK day and non-discrimination. Two people, Knox and Larigodan, entered my phase AND whispered me, spamming "WHITE POWER" and "N-----" (racial slur I refuse to repeat).
  • HarmHarassment
  • Harm HarmImpact of Hate Speech and Hate Crimes
  • HarmRecruitment
  • HarmIncitement
  • HarmMisinformation “A much more likely, and more pernicious risk to young people from hate speech online than either mobilizing or recruiting them into extremist white supremacist groups, is… its ability to change how we know what we say we know about issues that have been politically hard won.” Jesse Daniels, Race, Civil Rights and Hate Speech in the Digital Era
  • HarmNormalization of Hate Speech
  • StrategiesTeaching Empathy
  • StrategiesSocial Norming
  • StrategiesFighting Hate: Legal ApproachesMunicipalities withdedicated hate crime units: Provincial hate crimes units:Calgary Ontario Hate Crime ExtremismEdmonton Investigative TeamHamiltonOrillia Joint forces initiatives:OttawaTorontoVancouver B.C. Hate Crime TeamWinnipeg
  • StrategiesFighting Hate: Intervention
  • StrategiesFighting Hate: Reporting Hate
  • StrategiesFighting Hate: Who is Fighting Hate Online?
  • StrategiesOpen Communication
  • StrategiesOpen Communication Dealing with hate in the classroom Be prepared Address it first Don’t let hate speech go unchallenged Model questioning sources Take the time to address it fully Create a classroom environment where diversity is respected “We would be naïve if we did not recognize that language can… be used as a potent weapon. As teachers, one way we can blunt such language is to demystify it and to examine it rationally.” Leila Christenbury, Making The Journey
  • StrategiesTeaching Historical Context
  • StrategiesMedia Education “The Panel recommends that schools across Canada develop and implement media intervention programs to help youth develop the critical thinking skills to be able to identify, reject and report hate “Fostering media literacy media on the Internet.” and critical thinking is the Report of the Inquiry Panel of the most important instrument Canadian Parliamentary Committee to Combat Antisemitism to tackle hate mongers and the spread of discriminatory content on the Internet.” International Network Against CyberHate Report 2010
  • StrategiesMedia EducationKey Concept: Media Are Constructions
  • StrategiesMedia EducationKey Concept: Media Contain Ideological Messages It’s a fun game. The game is fun. Just like Grand Theft Auto, GTA2 and GTA3. I think we are all forgeting that it is JUST A GAME! Comments on “The Suicide Bomber Game” on the Newgrounds Bulletin Board
  • StrategiesMedia EducationKey Concept: Audiences Negotiate Meaning “Without an understanding of cultural history, in which power has been slanted in the direction of straight, White males, the concept seems just.” Randy Blazak, White Boys to Terrorist Men: Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads
  • StrategiesCritical ThinkingVerifying Sources
  • StrategiesCritical ThinkingRecognizing Bias and Manipulation
  • StrategiesCritical ThinkingAuthenticating Facts
  • This workshop was made possible withfinancial support from the Government ofCanada through Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.
  • This workshop has been produced byFor more information, contact: MediaSmarts www.mediasmarts.ca 1-800-896-3342 info@mediasmarts.ca