Online radicalisation: the net or the netizen?
Omotoyinbo, Femi Richard
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Purpose. Radicalisation has gained some unusual prominence in the academic circles; maintaining a generic existence not only in the political sector. And with the advent of the Information Communication Technology (ICT), radicalisation has begun to have some virtual dimension even in the remotest of human communities. This study seeks to mobilise a universal awareness on the collective urgency to oppose Online Radicalisation (a radicalisation that happens through the internet) due to its propensity to engendering conflicts. It also aims at identifying the principal cause of online radicalisation and steer a clear course for a practical reversal in the systems of online radicalisation. Design/methodology/approach. The study is divided into three primary parts. The general notion of radicalisation is the focus of the first part; which is further analysed into the levels of online radicalisation with its accompanying developments and segments. The second part utilises analytic and historical method to pinpoint the principal cause of online radicalisation amidst the suspected causal factors (the Net and the Netizen). The final part analytically focuses on the Netizen (a user/citizen of the internet) as the primary cause of online radicalisation and how the global community can bring about a corresponding change in the Net by the application of some measures on the Netizen. Findings. By virtue of the analytic plus historical methods employed by this study; it has been initially identified that radicalisation is basically having two versions which are online and offline. Further emphasis on the online version reveals that its existence is only made possible by the availability of the internet (the Net). Since the Net is a global phenomenon, online radicalisation is considered to be worldwide: a menace of globalisation. However, the study later indicated that the Net is a facilitator and not a cause of online radicalisation. Research limitations/implications. The study averred that all attempts/measures to bring about a reversal in the status quo of online radicalisation [de-radicalisation measures] should be directly applied to the principal cause, which is the Netizen. Although the content of the de-radicalisation measures were not fully provided by this study due to the reason that the contents can best be supplied by almost everyone that has a vivid understanding of online radicalisation. The study continues to affirm that the application of the measures of de-radicalisation on the Netizen will bring a corresponding ameliorative effect on the Net against its perpetuation of online radicalisation. Practical implications. It is important for domain name providers, governments, internet service providers, mass media, NGOs, parents, politicians, religious organisations, schools, teachers, and web hosting companies to collaborate to create practicable contents for a Gradual Online De-Radicalisation (G.O.D) which will suppress the perturbing rate of Online Radicalisation to the minimal. No unit or sector can singly tackle online radicalisation effectively. Therefore, measures of de-radicalisation should be governed by international treaties and laws, and there should be credible agents to legislate and execute the laws respectively. [...]
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