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In the past few years we have seen a massive increase in young men committing violent crimes, particularly in America, where easy access to assault weapons and guns may lead to large massacres.
We saw recently in Sydney what a mentally ill young man can do with a knife. Imagine what he could have done with a gun.
How do young men end up like this?
Here is an interesting Twitter thread that discusses how young men are being radicalised on the internet. Basically, online propaganda in the form of memes and other easily digestible content influences young men in certain ways, and we are not looking for it.
The system works simply and subtly as follows:
- Online communities are inundating adolescent boys with memes featuring subtly racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-Semitic jokes.
- They share these memes, usually without understanding the nuance or the implications of what they are sharing.
- They are then called out for criticism by parents, teachers and often other kids (mostly girls) at school. This leads to the boys feeling shame and isolation.
- These feelings drive them further into their online communities, where they feel a sense of belonging. They consume more content that tells them things like, “People are too sensitive,” “It’s political correctness gone mad,” and “You can’t say anything anymore.” This narrative allows them to shed their shame and replace it with anger.
- Who is their anger directed at? Immigrants, Muslims, women, feminists, lefties, people of colour, the LGBT+ community. “Snowflakes”.
So what happens then? Read the thread and see how one mother deals with teenage boys. She says they are being set up.
What can you do about this?
If you’re the parent of a teenage boy, then spend time with them. Encourage them to critically think. Encourage them to recognise how propaganda works. Don’t judge.
Introduce them to funny stuff, and talk about it with them. Don’t judge. Stay engaged and challenge them without shaming them.
And call out bullshit whenever you see it.
Martin Bullock Lawyers, for all your legal solutions – (02) 9687 9322.