Do messages in the media/popular culture contribute to ideologically motivated terrorism?

Source: Geralt

I’d like to say that the consensus at the moment is that messages in the media and popular culture do contribute to ideologically motivated terrorism. Media and popular culture have far and wide reaches, and the increased availability of the internet has made it so that anyone be tuned into their desired channels of information. However, the increased availability of the internet has also facilitated the ease of radicalization online. As we’ve seen in various news reports, the recent rise of lone shooters can be attributed to radicalization online. The Parkland shooter, the Aurora shooter, the NZ shooter, the Pulse shooter, etc. were all found to have been radicalized online. Though the channels vary (4chan, white supremacy websites, ISIS/Al-queda), the message is clear: certain channels of media and popular culture can and do contribute to ideologically motivated terrorism.

The best question for researchers like myself is why and how?

Currently, research has explored the how: Some researchers argue that it is the fear caused by these messages that can lead us to join extremist groups, which in turn may lead to committing extremist acts on the behalf of the group. (Uncertainty Identity Theory: Hogg, 2006; Hogg & Adelman, 2013). Some researchers believe that when we ignore our social needs (e.g. need for control or power), this can lead to an imbalance in our lives. This imbalance in our lives can lead us to engage in extremist behaviors/acts in order to satiate that need. (Ignored social needs: Kurglanksi et al., 2017). Others believe that acts of extremism are undertaken by those that have been beaten down and broken. That the acts of extremism are ones undertaken to give one a sense of purpose and to redeem oneself after loss or humiliation.(Significance Quest: Kruglanski, A., Jasko, K., Webber, D., Chernikova, M., & Molinario, E., 2018).

Regardless of the reason, the influence of media can be seen in our society, as the trend of shootings increase the more so that they receive attention and are glorified by some in the media.

I hope that answers your question! If not, please feel free to PM, I have a lot of literature/information on this subject!

GloomyCorner

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Don’t Name Them, Don’t Show Them, But Report Everything Else: A Pragmatic Proposal for Denying Mass Killers the Attention They Seek and Deterring Future Offenders

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0002764217730854

Canvaverbalist

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