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Demosthenes's avatar

Parents: Have you ever been concerned about your kids being lured into extremism online?

Asked by Demosthenes (7754points) 3 weeks ago

A recent article I came across on CNN described a white mother who was concerned about some of the content her teenage sons were looking at online, which included some notorious alt-right and neo-Nazi memes. She offers a warning that if you don’t pay attention to what your [white teenage sons] are doing online, white supremacists will: “They’ve studied the way that our young men interact online, and they have looked at what these boys need…And they have learned how to fill those needs in order to entice them into propaganda.” She encourages parents to get on social media and become more involved with what their kids are doing online.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/22/us/california-mother-warning-white-supremacists-soh/index.html

I wanted to make this question more general and not just directed at white people and white supremacy, but any form of extremism. Since it does seem to be young people who are more susceptible to radicalization and the influence of extremist propaganda, have you ever been concerned about what your own children are being exposed to online? How involved are you in your kids’ online activities?

Non-parents can answer too.

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7 Answers

ucme's avatar

No never, they’re both intelligent, well rounded individuals always have been.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I read it earlier as well. It strikes a chord with me because it’s not just true for white supremacists but any other extremist group. They know exactly how to reach these kids and touch that soft spot that lures them in. Once they are in the “community” they’re hard to pull back. I have neices and nephews but no kids of my own.

janbb's avatar

My kids are older and when they were teens, there was one computer and it was in the den. They weren’t spending hours in their rooms looking at the internet although they were online at times. Cyber-bullying and extremist recruitment were less of an issue than they are today.

flutherother's avatar

It never crossed my mind. I think I would have picked up on any radical thinking simply though talking with my kids. I never made any attempt to check what they looked at online. My daughter was a vegetarian for a time and she felt quite strongly about it. I don’t know where this came from but I admired her for standing up for her principles.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The language changes so quickly it can be hard to keep up. I feel part of the reason we have such a political divide is political recruitment of young people in exactly the same way.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Well, fortunately I couldn’t afford internet in the beginning, and then when we could it just didn’t come up.
I’m with @flutherother. I interacted with them enough to keep a finger on the pulse.

Sagacious's avatar

My children used the family computer in the living area of the house. No privacy online. They were allowed to talk to their friend in instant messaging and I set it to save a copy of those conversations. They were always fine. This was long enough ago that todays horrors weren’t happening. We played computer games that didn’t use the internet.

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