White nationalism is a threat to national security. The terrorist attack that took nearly 50 lives in New Zealand might seem like it was a world away, but the space that allows the ideologies to proliferate can reach any corner of the world. But it shouldn’t have to.
Social media platforms must take responsibility for the role they play in radicalization. It can happen anywhere at any time because those platforms aren’t limited by physical barriers. We know more can be done.
Buzzfeed journalist Ellie Hall reported about coordinated efforts across platforms to thwart ISIS organizing a few years ago. This weekend she asked an important question. Why isn’t the same being done for far-right extremism?
We’ll hear people counter with oversimplified terms of good vs. evil, mental health or fears of censorship, but what we are actually experiencing are coordinated efforts to kill and maim. The virtual world is bleeding into the physical with frightening results.
We wouldn’t give an extremist group a town square to organize a local terror attack, we don’t have to give them a virtual one.