OUR PICKSBuffalo Shooter’s Inspiration | Reducing Online Extremism | Foreign Hackers & Civil Litigation, and more

Published 18 May 2022

·  How Education Decreases the Fear of Terrorism

·  Will the EU’s Digital Service Act Reduce Online Extremism?

·  ‘Truth Decay’ in Europe Is Real, but Its Advance Can Be Slowed

·  Deflection and Denial Following the Buffalo Terror Attack

·  The Buffalo Shooting Is Part of a Global Network of White Nationalist Terror

·  Buffalo Shooter’s 673-Page Diary Reveals Descent into Racist Extremism

·  The Buffalo Shooter’s Inspiration Came from France

·  Members of Neo-Nazi Group The Base Convicted in Domestic Terrorism Probe in Michigan

·  How to Fight Foreign Hackers with Civil Litigation

·  When Strongmen Invade, They Bring Their Pathologies with Them

How Education Decreases the Fear of Terrorism  (Peter Krause et al., Lawfare)
The gap between the risk of dying from terrorism and the fear of it is large. This misperception can help the terrorists, making their violence more consequential and giving their hateful ideas more attention than they deserve. Scholars find that education about terrorism can reshape perceptions, leading to a more accurate view of the danger.

Will the EU’s Digital Service Act Reduce Online Extremism?  (Iris Malone, Just Security)
From Christchurch to Buffalo, online political extremism often leads to real world violence. Unfortunately, governments’ efforts to address this danger tend to replicate the Greek myth of the Hydra: when the monster’s head is cut off, another simply grows in its place. The latest example occurred on April 23 when European Union lawmakers announced an historic agreement to push “Big Tech” companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to take greater responsibility for content on their platforms. However, simply taking down inflammatory material misunderstands the decentralized and highly adaptive nature of online extremist networks.

‘Truth Decay’ in Europe Is Real, but Its Advance Can Be Slowed  (Axelle Devaux and Stijn Hoorens, Encompass)
Disagreement about facts and objective data is regarded as a core trend of a phenomenon called ‘Truth Decay’ by the RAND Corporation. In the 2018 study, researchers at RAND noted that the role of facts and analysis in American public life is diminishing and warned of its consequences: the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation, and disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions.
This ‘decay’ poses a potential threat to democracy and democratic processes. Meaningful discourse in societies should be based on trusted and reliable facts. If there is no meaningful discourse, good policy solutions become difficult to achieve. If proposed solutions are not based on facts, it makes it difficult to arrive at fact-based policy solutions that address the key issues at hand. (Cont.)