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Sat Jun 8, 2019, 11:18 AM

Caleb Cain was a college dropout looking for direction. He turned to YouTube

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/08/technology/youtube-radical.html

Soon, he was pulled into a far-right universe, watching thousands of videos filled with conspiracy theories, misogyny and racism.

“I was brainwashed.”


MARTINSBURG, W.V. — Caleb Cain pulled a Glock pistol from his waistband, took out the magazine and casually tossed both onto the kitchen counter.

“I bought it the day after I got death threats,” he said.

The threats, Mr. Cain explained, came from right-wing trolls in response to a video he had posted on YouTube a few days earlier. In the video, he told the story of how, as a liberal college dropout struggling to find his place in the world, he had gotten sucked into a vortex of far-right politics on YouTube.

“I fell down the alt-right rabbit hole,” he said in the video.


Caleb Cain

Mr. Cain, 26, recently swore off the alt-right nearly five years after discovering it, and has become a vocal critic of the movement. He is scarred by his experience of being radicalized by what he calls a “decentralized cult” of far-right YouTube personalities, who convinced him that Western civilization was under threat from Muslim immigrants and cultural Marxists, that innate I.Q. differences explained racial disparities, and that feminism was a dangerous ideology.

“I just kept falling deeper and deeper into this, and it appealed to me because it made me feel a sense of belonging,” he said. “I was brainwashed.”

</snip>


More terrifying shit at link...

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Reply Caleb Cain was a college dropout looking for direction. He turned to YouTube (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jun 8 OP
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 8 #1
Dennis Donovan Jun 8 #2
Dennis Donovan Jun 8 #3

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2019, 01:03 PM

1. "Sense of belonging" is something all cults play up, including the Trumpanzee cult. . . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 8, 2019, 03:01 PM

2. ...and, they have modern recruitment tools (FB, YouTube, Twitter) at their disposal

...this ain't your grandpa's White Supremacy.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2019, 07:03 PM

3. *This is telling* (from the same article)

The radicalization of young men is driven by a complex stew of emotional, economic and political elements, many having nothing to do with social media. But critics and independent researchers say YouTube has inadvertently created a dangerous on-ramp to extremism by combining two things: a business model that rewards provocative videos with exposure and advertising dollars, and an algorithm that guides users down personalized paths meant to keep them glued to their screens.

“There’s a spectrum on YouTube between the calm section — the Walter Cronkite, Carl Sagan part — and Crazytown, where the extreme stuff is,” said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, YouTube’s parent company. “If I’m YouTube and I want you to watch more, I’m always going to steer you toward Crazytown.”


A design "ethicist"? That sounds like a LACK of an ethicist!

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