Technological seduction and self-radicalization

Mark Alfano, J. Adam Carter, Marc Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many scholars agree that the Internet plays a pivotal role in self-radicalization, which can lead to behaviors ranging from lone-Wolf terrorism to participation in white nationalist rallies to mundane bigotry and voting for extremist candidates. However, the mechanisms by which the Internet facilitates self-radicalization are disputed; some fault the individuals who end up self-radicalized, while others lay the blame on the technology itself. In this paper, we explore the role played by technological design decisions in online self-radicalization in its myriad guises, encompassing extreme as well as more mundane forms. We begin by characterizing the phenomenon of technological seduction. Next, we distinguish between top-down seduction and bottom-up seduction. We then situate both forms of technological seduction within the theoretical model of dynamical systems theory. We conclude by articulating strategies for combating online self-radicalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-322
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • digital humanities
  • dynamical systems theory
  • nudge
  • philosophy of technology
  • technological seduction
  • virtue epistemology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Technological seduction and self-radicalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this