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Examining Online Indicators of Extremism Among Violent and Non-Violent Right-Wing Extremists

The existence of extremist ideologies, personal grievances, and violent extremist mobilization efforts were quantified within each of the three sample groups.

Although there is an ongoing need for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify and assess the online activities of violent extremists prior to their engagement in violence offline, little is empirically known about their online posting patterns generally or differences in their online patterns compared to non-violent extremists who share similar ideological beliefs particularly. Even less is empirically known about how their online patterns compare to those who post in extremist spaces in general. This study addresses this gap through a content analysis of postings from a unique sample of violent and non-violent right-wing extremists (RWEs) as well as from a sample of postings within a sub-forum of the largest white supremacy web-forum, Stormfront. Here the existence of extremist ideologies, personal grievances, and violent extremist mobilisation efforts were quantified within each of the three sample groups (n = 3,000). Several conclusions can be drawn from this study.

First, a large proportion of ideological posts targeting the out-group were observed in the violent, non-violent, and comparison groups

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism and Technology

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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