Online gaming

Online games used to recruit young men into far-right groups

Online games have been reported to be used to recruit young men into far-right groups.

The digits of a Headquarters report show that in the year ending March 2021, there were 4,915 referrals to To prevent (government anti-extremism program) due to fears that an individual is vulnerable to radicalization. 88% of them were men.

Almost one in three cases has been transmitted to the government Channel diagram (which aims to protect individuals considered most likely to be radicalized and drawn into terrorist activities) involved far-right extremism.

As reported by The Guardian, Sean Arbuthnot (a Prevent coordinator for Leicestershire) said that while far-right extremism has been on the rise for several years, there are more and more online apps and platforms in referrals, including gaming platforms and chat apps like Discord, like right-wing groups are trying to reach young people.

It was supported by comments from Owen Jones, director of training and education at the I hope not to hate. He said The Guardian that the charity saw younger students getting involved in far-right extremism, including boys as young as 13, often using the Telegram messaging app.

Arbuthnot also explained how the COVID conspiracy theories play into the recruitment of right-wing extremists. “If you engage with them on a YouTube platform and scroll down the comments section, then you may find links to more encrypted discussion boards or far-right codes or signs and symbols that you could. be tempted to search. “

He added: “This is one of the troubling ways that right-wing extremists can play on the fears that have resulted from Covid-19 and the conspiracies, to prepare, essentially, vulnerable young people in the online space. “

Geoff Barton, secretary general of the Association of School and College Leaders, called for better support for schools to solve problems, but also called for platforms to take more action to block and remove harmful content.

Earlier in the week, Valorant removed four-player teams from competitive play modes due to excessive “toxicity reports”.