New research explores digital evolution of US extremist groups

Open Access Government
May 19, 2021

On 6 January, 2021, the world watched as an angry crowd broke into the Capitol building – here, researchers explore the evolution of US extremist groups and how this moment of violence happened.

The research team investigated how these online communities formed, especially focusing on the ‘Boogaloos’ in relation to what they already understood about extremism – from looking at online support for ISIS, a militant, terrorist organization based in the Middle East...

Professor Neil Johnson, a researcher at the George Washington University Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics, said: “This study helps provide a better understanding of the emergence of extremist movements in the U.S. and worldwide. By identifying hidden common patterns in what seem to be completely unrelated movements, topped with a rigorous mathematical description of how they develop, our findings could help social media platforms disrupt the growth of such extremist groups.”

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