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Technological Seduction and Self-Radicalization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 December 2018

MARK ALFANO
Affiliation:
TU-DELFT & AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY
J. ADAM CARTER
Affiliation:
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOWadam.carter@glasgow.ac.uk
MARC CHEONG
Affiliation:
MONASH UNIVERSITY

Abstract

Many scholars agree that the Internet plays a pivotal role in self-radicalization, which can lead to behaviors ranging from lone-wolf terrorism to participation in white nationalist rallies to mundane bigotry and voting for extremist candidates. However, the mechanisms by which the Internet facilitates self-radicalization are disputed; some fault the individuals who end up self-radicalized, while others lay the blame on the technology itself. In this paper, we explore the role played by technological design decisions in online self-radicalization in its myriad guises, encompassing extreme as well as more mundane forms. We begin by characterizing the phenomenon of technological seduction. Next, we distinguish between top-down seduction and bottom-up seduction. We then situate both forms of technological seduction within the theoretical model of dynamical systems theory. We conclude by articulating strategies for combating online self-radicalization.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © American Philosophical Association 2018 

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