How to spot Radicalism/Extremism
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How to spot Radicalism/Extremism

While modern media has changed the world, the amount of extremism it has bred among its consumers is a cause for concern. Cancellations and callouts have become a routine. Harassing and bullying people who have differing opinions is par for the course. Worst of all, instances of riots, violence and attacks are increasing by the day.

How to spot Radicalism/Extremism

In recent times, the media has become such a significant aspect of our daily life that it's impossible to imagine going even a day without some form of media. Advancements in technology have also made such information easier to access.

It certainly doesn't help when the media not only glorifies but also promotes such radicalism. This happens in the following ways-

1. Generalization:

Generalization is the cornerstone of radicalism. It operates under the false dichotomy of 'my right VS your wrong'. There is no room for nuance, individuality or alternatives. Generalization groups everything under one category and uses it to make a point, a dangerous and often misleading one.

2. Emphasis on emotion over facts:

It's so easy to be led by feelings, especially in issues you feel strongly about. And that is the chief way a radical take is framed by the media to incite such reactions. Use of buzzwords, universal language and graphics are all designed to incite emotional upheaval to camouflage the facts that an extremist take can't provide.

3. Blame Games and Double Standards:

"Applies to thee, but not to me". Extremists tend to give themselves the benefit of the doubt and assign moral superiority to their group. But the same grace isn't extended to anyone on the other side of the aisle. They also tend to take credit and shift blames.

There have been many instances in which extremist websites have resorted to slandering, character assassination and discrediting their opponents. The opposite side is portrayed as evil.

4. Call to violence and suppression:

Any incitement towards violence or escalation instead of due process is a sure sign of an extremist sway. Sometimes this can take place through intimidation, suppression and censorship of any opposing viewpoints. This happens because extremists view violence as a means of effective persuasion and excuse it or their cause.

5. Lack of proof:

Extremist viewpoints usually tend to have little to no proof to back up their sweeping statements. There is more focus on emotional variance than reason and data that goes against their view is ignored. Sometimes, information may be misrepresented to serve an agenda. Extremist takes also employ logical fallacies to convince people of the accuracy of their points. If the source is 'Trust me bro', then it's a mask concealing the inner radicalism hidden between the lines.

6. Nitpicking and Strawmanning:

The goal of creating chaos and guarding an agenda leaves extremists hyper vigilant which leads to nitpicking and Strawmanning of situations. Extremist takes tend to personalize hostility as well as encourage a victim mentality. These takes overanalyze events and twist them into their versions.


While this may seem like only the tip of the iceberg, learning to spot extremist takes and immunizing yourself is the first step to combating extremism. Treating people as human beings rather than expendable creatures is the need of the hour. And it all starts with us.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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