In an effort to counter violent extremism, the Justice Department will fund a study on the use of social media by “far-right” and Islamic groups.
The Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) plans to dole out $585,719 to Michigan State University to “collect posts made in … active forums … by members of the far-right and … the Islamic Extremist community, as well as posts made in Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, YouTube, and Pastebin accounts …. ”
NIJ will examine more social media forums used by “far-right” groups than forums used by Islamic extremist groups.
“[W]e will assess the value of these messages in the social status of the individual posting the message, and the function of radical messages in the larger on-line identity of participants in extremist communities generally,” the Justice Department said.
In April 2013 Army training materials listed evangelical Christians, orthodox Jews, and conservative Catholics in the same category as religious extremists who belong to the KKK, Hamas, and Al Qaeda.
Another report in April of 2013 found that DHS had provided materials for a training program hosted by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) in which police officers, deputies, and CSP troopers were given instruction on the dangers of rightwing extremism and the violence that would be perpetrated by sovereign citizen groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
For more on this story, see Social Media Use by ‘Far-Right’ and Islamists Focus of Gov’t Study, Army training material lists evangelical Christians, Catholics as extremists, and Colorado State Police and Homeland Security Target Christians.