Extremist Propaganda in Social Media: A Threat to Homeland Security presents both an analysis of the impact of propaganda in social media and the rise of extremism in mass society from technological and social perspectives. The book identifies the current phenomenon, what shall be dubbed for purposes of this book "Blisstopian Societies"—characterized in the abiding "ignorance is bliss" principle—whereby a population is complacent and has unquestioning acceptance of a social doctrine without challenge and introspection. In these subcultures, the malleable population self-select social media content, "news," and propaganda delivery mechanisms. By doing so, they expose themselves only to content that motivates, reinforces, and contributes to their isolation, alienation, and self-regulation of the social groups and individuals. In doing this, objective news is dismissed, fake—or news otherwise intended to misinform—reinforces their stereotyped beliefs about society and the world around them.
This phenomenon is, unfortunately, not "fake news," but a real threat to which counterterror, intelligence, Homeland Security, law enforcement, the military, and global organizations must be hyper-vigilant of, now and into the foreseeable future. Chapters cite numerous examples from the 2016 political election, the Russia investigation into the Trump Campaign, ISIS, domestic US terrorists, among many other examples of extremist and radicalizing rhetoric.
The book illustrates throughout that this contrived and manufactured bliss has fueled the rise and perpetuation of hate crimes, radicalism, and violence in such groups as ISIS, Boko Haram, Neo-Nazis, white separatists, and white supremacists in the United States—in addition to perpetuating ethnic cleansing actions around the world. This dynamic has led to increased political polarization in the United States and abroad, while furthering an unwillingness and inability to both compromise or see others’ perspectives—further fomenting insular populations increasing willing to harm others and do violence.
Extremist Propaganda in Social Media relates current Blisstopian practices to real-world hate speech and violence, connecting how such information is consumed by groups and translated into violent action. The book is an invaluable resources for those professionals that require an awareness of social media radicalization including: social media strategists, law enforcement, Homeland Security professionals, military planners and operatives—anyone tasked with countering combat such violent factions and fringes in conflict situations.
Table of Contents
1. A Framework to Analyze the Impact of Social Media Propaganda on Intolerance, Extremism, and Radicalization in Society
2. Social Media Propaganda and the Political Electoral Process
3. Government Institutional Response to Social Media Propaganda, Extremism, and Radicalization
4. Military Response to Social Media Propaganda driven Extremism, and Radicalization
5. The Impact of Social Media Extremist Propaganda on Law Enforcement
6. The Corporate Extremist Propaganda Machine
7. Extremist Propaganda and Recruitment Targeting Youth
8. Electronic Aggression or Free Speech
9. Countering Extremist Anti-Science Propaganda
10. Observations on the Distribution of Extremist Propaganda
11. Ten Reasons Why Propaganda Works
Michael Erbschloe worked for over 30 years performing analysis of the economics of information technology, public policy relating to technology, and utilizing technology in reengineering organization processes. He has authored several books on social and management issues of information technology most of which covered some aspects of information or corporate security. Mr. Erbschloe has also taught at several universities and developed technology-related curriculum. His career has focused on several interrelated areas: technology strategy, analysis, and forecasting; teaching and curriculum development; writing books and articles; speaking at conferences and industry events; publishing and editing; and public policy analysis and program evaluation. He currently works as a consultant on technology and security issues.