Justice Dept. Internet study hunts ‘far right’ boogeymen, ignores ‘radical messages’ from the left

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Source: www.sltrib.com

The Department of Justice still thinks the right wing is the danger.

The DOJ has awarded a $585,719 grant to Michigan State University to study violent extremism on the Internet under a program praised by former Attorney General Eric Holder earlier this year — with extra focus on right wing “extremists.”

“There is currently limited knowledge of the role of technology and computer mediated communications (CMCs), such as Facebook and Twitter, in the dissemination of messages that promote extremist agendas and radicalize individuals to violence,” reads the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice grant, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

“The proposed study will address this gap through a series of qualitative and quantitative analyses of posts from various forms of CMC used by members of both the far-right and Islamic extremist movements.”

In addition to studying posts made on popular, well-known social media sites, the project will also focus on various forums particular to individual groups and interests, according to the Free Beacon.

“We will collect posts made in four active forums used by members of the far-right and three from the Islamic Extremist community, as well as posts made in Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, YouTube, and Pastebin accounts used by members of each movement,” the grant said.

Looking purely at the numbers, apparently the Justice Department considers the far-right a greater threat than jihadists.

As for the far left — the socialists, communists and revolutionaries — the DOJ doesn’t see a problem at all.

“The findings will be used to document both the prevalence and variation in the ideological content of posts from members of each movement,” the grant continued. “In addition, we 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.”

“Radical messages”? The far-left anarchists of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement don’t qualify as those promoting “radical messages”?

The Free Beacon reported:

The project will also “identify the hidden networks of individuals who engage in extremist movements based on geographic location and ideological similarities.”

The results will be used for a public webinar, and for presentations for counterterrorism experts in the United States.

Holder highlighted the study in remarks this February at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, as an example of the new methods the Justice Department is using to combat terrorist threats.

At the summit, Holder said the study will “help us develop more effective techniques and partnerships for counter-messaging,” according to the Beacon

While no specific far-right groups were mentioned by name at the summit, it comes as no surprise that the term “Islamic extremism” was avoided as well. Despite all the evidence in the world, the Obama administration seems incapable of using the two words at the same time.

Department of Homeland Security’s then-secretary Janet Napolitano drew flak in 2009 when she foresaw a potential terrorist threat from conservatives, including returning war veterans.

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