First and foremost, knowing that The Guardian isn't immune to hyperbole, is this blurb a pretty accurate picture? I literally knew nothing about these people until I read this, so I have nothing to gauge this article against.
Concepts such as isolation and disenfranchisement tend to be at the core of a lot of extremist beliefs and behaviors. Whether we're talking in a social sense, an economic sense, a political sense, what have you. Are we as societies, both big and small, really doing our best to combat isolation? It feels like there are so many organizations and programs out there to try and reach people, but these problems keep popping up again and again. What could we be doing better to help people, both as individuals as well as collective groups?
It seems to me that humor and memes, when used in a hateful manner, have a toxic effect. They often blur the lines of morality and in effect normalize and seemingly validate dangerous thoughts and ideas. Words lead to thoughts, thoughts lead to behaviors, and what people read often have an impact on them whether they realize it or not. Knowing this, are forums like the ones described in this article an example of free speech and anonymity going to far? Can anything really be done about it while still respecting the rights of individuals?
Are there questions I'm not asking? Things I should be thinking about?
I see reflections of these issues time and time again, as a result these questions and variations of them are things I think about a lot. I know we've talked about similar issues here on Hubski before, and I'd love to hear some of your guys' thoughts.
With that, keep in mind this is a sensitive issue, so please, be thoughtful, be respectful.