The Violence Project's Jillian Peterson and James Densley wrote an article for CNN about how social media enables extremism. They examine how extreme groups coalesce and organize through social media, and what we can do to prevent it. "Let's stop being the audience the extremists want. If we walk out of the show, the extremists might be forced … [Read more...]
How social media sends extremism into overdrive
Verdict in police shooting of Philando Castile: The fear defense should have us all afraid
Why? Because it's emotional, not a rational assessment of danger. And police officers are trained to be particularly susceptible. Drs. James Densley and Jillian Peterson argue that because the fear defense is an expression of emotion rather than logic, the law needs to be changed. Bulletproof facts struggle to win debates or sway opinions on … [Read more...]
Cyber violence: What do we know and where do we go from here?
This paper reviews the existing literature on the relationship between social media and violence, including prevalence rates, typologies, and the overlap between cyber and in-person violence. This review explores the individual-level correlates and risk factors associated with cyber violence, the group processes involved in cyber violence, and the … [Read more...]
Why the trend of posting gruesome acts online?
Police have found the suspect who shot and killed an elderly victim and posted footage of the deed on Facebook. He took his own life before he could be taken into custody. His act was yet another example of a new trend — “performance violence” on social media. From the live torture of a mentally disabled teenager in Chicago to the performance … [Read more...]
Mental illness and violence: Not so easy to connect the dots
"The focus of the news coverage surrounding the Germanwings Flight 9525 tragedy has gravitated toward co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s mental health. Reports of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, psychosomatic complaints and psychiatric medications have emerged. Reaching for psychiatric diagnosis as an explanation for mass violence is familiar … [Read more...]