As the campaign for the 2024 presidential election heats up, extremism experts worry that the risk of politically motivated violence will increase.
From “Pizzagate” to “QAnon” to “Stop the Steal”trumpConspiracy theories demonizing Trump’s enemies are distorting and spreading, with the goal of returning to the White House.
Jacob Ware, a researcher at the think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), explained: “These conspiracy theories and extremely controversial and vicious ideologies are no longer isolated on the margins, but are infiltrating American society at large.”
Threats against lawmakers and election officials remain rampant, and even after Trump lost the 2020 election, conspiracy theories inspired by QAnon or its unfulfilled prophecies have not stopped spreading, and the changing ideologies of this leaderless movement often intersect with other conspiracy theories. Adopts.
“It’s very good at evolving with the times and current events,” said Sheehan Kane, data collection manager for the Consortium for Research on Terrorism and Response (START) at the University of Maryland. In a 2021 article, Kane and START senior researcher Michael Jensen looked at 125 followers who committed QAnon-inspired crimes since the conspiracy theory emerged on the image board site 4chan in 2017, and found that QAnon is more likely than any More vulnerable than other extremist groups or movements. there are more. “extremist criminals”.
David Deppe, a 42-year-old Canadian man who has been living in the United States illegally for a long time, broke in through the front door in October last year.Lok SabhachairmanpelosiPelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was being exposed to right-wing conspiracy theories before he was attacked with a hammer in their San Francisco apartment.
Experts believe that Deepapete’s immersion in conspiracy theories is a classic example of radicalization. False, contradictory, and harmful ideas have become mainstream on public platforms such as broadcast, cable news, and social media, making these ideas more accessible.
Brian Hughes, a professor at American University, explained that the problem is exacerbated by lax content moderation on social platforms and industries that intend to profit from extreme speech or expand their target audiences. “Among this broader audience, some people, like Deepak, will knowingly carry out violent actions based on this false and harmful information.”
To deal with potential violence, experts say Americans should try to tone down their political rhetoric and keep an eye on friends and relatives who may be on the verge of radicalization.
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