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Some Things to Know First

  • If you discover that a child is visiting extremist sites, talking with extremists online, or watching misogynistic videos, shaming them will not help. They may be dealing with deeper issues such as a traumatic experience, a lack of belonging, loneliness, or insecurity. They are often drawn to the sense of community and belonging that extremist groups offer, as well as the feelings of power and wealth that misogynistic male lifestyle influencers offer. Vulnerability increases the chance of being radicalized. Trying to shame them for their interest in white supremacy, toxic masculinity, or other radicalization may push them deeper into that world where their shame may be converted into anger at “triggered snowflakes” and other people they believe to be against them.


  • Try to understand what your child finds appealing about these extremist views. Don’t criticize them. Instead try to suggest a healthier and less toxic option for them to find community. Acknowledge that online communities have benefits, but that some can be harmful.


  • Unfortunately, countering with facts alone won’t always work as they may be perceived as part of the “conspiracy” against the beliefs your child is reading. Also, people often reject facts if they are emotionally invested in an extreme ideology.



Preventing online radicalization and misogyny isn’t just about helping your child avoid extremists, it’s also about building up your child so they feel stronger and part of a healthy community, which will make them less vulnerable to extremist rhetoric.

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