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Strange Names in the Village: Online Radicalisation, Social Media Literacy and P/CVE in Western Kenya | Citizen Support

This Insight explores the urgency of countermeasures in Western Kenya, which is viewed as the new hot spot of radicalisation and a region complicated by the emergence of new mediation technologies such as social media platforms. Therefore, the importance of localised collaborative approaches involving critical stakeholders in the counterterrorism enterprise is paramount. These localised approaches should consider the effectiveness of social media literacy programs in preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) through university spaces. The latter would enable the institution of countermeasures that insulate universities in Western Kenya from being used as soft targets of terrorism attacks and potential recruitment and mobilisation sites. 

Further, this Insight is premised on the contention that modern forms of hegemony are based on the technical nature of platforms that are used to mediate reality, sometimes in themselves products of propaganda designed to change specific agendas on a variety of social activities.  Consequently, achieving societies free of violent extremism and terrorism requires radical technical and political change, both of which must consider transformative nuances. Mediation (through social media technologies) is at the heart of such critical transformations. Social media surfaces have complicated the global information environment, eroded public trust, and weakened societal cohesion, making an increasing number of fragmented audiences more vulnerable to violent extremism and terrorism content. Therefore, it is critical to enhance community understanding of the implications of social media use. This can help decrease the likelihood of individuals being drawn into online extremism and reduce the number of youths ascending to the apex of the violent extremism pyramid.

Source: Global Network on Extremism and Technology by Fredrick Ogenga


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