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The Parents & Caregivers Guide to Online Youth Radicalization

It can be all too easy for people to become radicalized without even leaving home. The proliferation of extremist spaces and content online has created new and powerful avenues for radicalization, especially for young people who are often the targets of radical-right propaganda.

That’s why, in partnership with American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL), we are releasing a guide to help parents, caregivers and educators understand how extremists exploit online communication to target children and young adults. The guide – Building Resilience & Confronting Risk – provides tangible steps to counter the threat of online radicalization, including information on new risks, how to recognize warning signs, and how to get help and engage a radicalized child or young adult.

“The tremendous insecurity brought on by crises can make the kinds of simplistic solutions offered by far-right extremists more appealing,” said PERIL Director and Professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss. “For extremists, this is an ideal time to exploit youth grievances about their lack of agency, their families’ economic distress, and their intense sense of disorientation, confusion, fear and anxiety.”

The guide is available for free here. We encourage you to share it widely with parents, caregivers, educators and anyone else who is in a position to help steer young people through difficult times.


Illustration by Claudia Whitaker