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Online search trends mirror the regularity with which aggression, bigotry and conspiracy have become mainstream in America, CSUSB professor says
The Press-Enterprise/Southern California News Group
Feb. 8, 2021
Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was interviewed for an article about a report on how some Americans actively searched online for information on conspiracy theories, armed extremists groups and making homemade firebombs before and after the November 2020 presidential election.
What is disturbing is not just that some want to learn more about conspiracy theories and armed groups, Levin said, but also the regularity with which aggression, bigotry and conspiracy have now become part of mainstream America.
“These trends in (online) searches are similar to what we see manifested in locations where there is an increase in hate crimes and hatching violent plots,” he said. “In November 2016, we saw that the hate crimes that were happening in the real world and the extremist language and bigoted epithets online went hand in hand.”
He also discussed the use of the Redirect Method, a strategy that tackles online extremism by redirecting online searches – such as from how to join an armed extremist group to a counternarrative about such groups. The Redirect Method can find success with those who are new to and curious about extremist ideologies, said Levin.
“The problem is not everyone who is running down that slippery slope is doing so at the same speed or intensity,” Levin said.
“Especially at a time when people are hostile to facts like something as simple as wearing a mask (during the coronavirus pandemic),” he added, “how are we going to persuade them to take in other facts where the impact is not immediate or apparent — like the value of not being bigoted?”
Read the complete article at “Before 2020 election, Southern Californians sought online extremist content, report says.”
CSUSB professor and alumni among featured speakers in financial awareness talk
High Desert Daily
Feb. 9, 2021
The Society of Extraordinary Women will offer a virtual program on Thursday, Feb. 11, to help people plan for their economic future featuring a group of prominent speakers that includes Francisca Beer, CSUSB professor of accounting and finance and Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration associate dean of Academic Equity.
Also joining her are two CSUSB alumni, Monica Stockhausen and Paulette Brown-Hinds, and a member of the university’s Philanthropic Foundation, Nefertiti Long.
These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”