Panel: Feeling Terrified? Online Violent Extremism and Australian Youth

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


About this event

Join Dr Catharine Lumby, Dr Julian Droogan, Ms Lise Waldek, Dr Max Harwood and Ms Peta Lowe to discuss Online Violent Extremism and Youth.

Terrorists and violent extremists use the internet and social media to spread their violent propaganda in order to intimidate publics and radicalise and attract potential supporters. Both the so-called ‘Islamic State’ and far-right extremists have focussed their online efforts towards young people, who are seen as being particularly vulnerable to online radicalisation. In Australia, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have, in turn, warned that ‘lone actor’ violent extremists are getting younger, and that the internet plays a growing role in their pathways towards violence.

However, both research and the experience of practitioners working on the front-line of juvenile extremism reveals a much more complex and nuanced picture than a simplistic ‘young people are radicalised by the internet’ narrative suggests.

In this panel, leading academics and social workers with experience talking to young people about navigating online extremist environments, will discuss what we actually know about how they are responding to the dangers and harms presented by the internet. Most young people report having grown up experiencing digital environments awash with violent and extremist propaganda, from Islamic State videos to live-streams of the Christchurch attack. Despite this, many report relatively sophisticated ways of navigating these difficult spaces.

 Most young people demonstrate protective factors that prevent them becoming radicalised, but some do not and are vulnerable. The internet poses many challenges and potential harms for young people, and for broader society, and in this panel we will explore the role online terrorism plays in this fast-moving and hotly debated space.
Period30 Nov 2022
Held atUniversity of Sydney, Australia, New South Wales
Degree of RecognitionInternational