Technology has made it easier for violent extremist groups to follow the lead of the likes of ISIS; specifically, these groups have learned from ISIS how to use social media and online networking to further their cause.
In the case of white supremacists, it certainly seems to be working for them.
ISIS got us to pay attention to online propaganda when the upstart terror group became the star producers of high-tech videos. After watching such content, kids were lured to their cause through online chat groups which burgeoned into full-fledged global communities enticing participants into their twisted ideology.
ISIS showed us it was no longer necessary to meet someone on the street and embrace them to start grooming them to join their forces.
We spent a lot of focus trying to control ISIS and al-Qaeda materials in cyberspace – from shutting down their slick online magazines to trying to block their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Meanwhile, white supremacist groups were learning from the masters and growing their own online followings.
From my close work with a former white supremacist, he made it clear to me that already several years ago, white supremacist groups would look to Islamic extremist groups online to find their anti-Semitic materials. After all, much of their messaging was not so far apart.
Today we are seeing some push for social media giants to take down these bigoted organizations, but there still isn’t enough knowledge out there on how spread out their tentacles have become.
Two things are clear: This online community is not as new as we think it may be, and their strength and intensity is increasing. With new platforms popping up every day and clever rebranding, it is very difficult to keep on top of everything that is being posted and all the conversations planning the next act of violence, but keep on eye, we must.