Online radicalism, disinformation, and how to talk to loved ones caught in the web of conspiracy theories featured in University of Michigan Teach-Out on extremism

Understanding and Addressing Extremism Teach-Out features experts in international and domestic terrorism, social media, far-right extremism, disinformation and communication

Sean Corp, Content Strategist

Online radicalism, political polarization, conspiracy theories and disinformation and the political response to growing extremism both internationally and domestic will be covered in University of Michigan’s Understanding and Addressing Extremism Teach-Out.

Join the Conversation | Understanding and Addressing Extremism Teach-Out

The Teach-Out, launching April 5, features some of the world’s leading experts in domestic extremist groups, disinformation, public policy and communication from U-M and outside organizations to talk about growing issues of radicalization and societal impacts, particularly as it relates to family and friends who see loved ones becoming increasingly radicalized.

The free online Teach-Out and discussion is available on Coursera and FutureLearn platforms via Michigan Online concludes April 30.

Focusing on the emerging threat of far-right extremism in light of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Teach-Out traces the links of modern extremism back more than 20 years, with experts highlighting the rise of right-wing domestic extremism from the Oklahoma City bombing, Ruby Ridge, the shift in federal resources to international terrorism and the role of the internet and social media in radicalization.

Experts featured in the Teach-Out include Daryl Johnson, a former Department of Homeland Security analyst and owner of DT Analytics where he tracks domestic extremism and provides private consulting for law enforcement agencies.

Heidi Beirich, co-founder of Global Project Against Hate and Extremism and former director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, discusses the rise of right-wing extremism in the U.S. while Javed Ali, the Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, discusses international terrorism and the response after Sept. 11 while highlighting a new wave of domestic terrorism.

Rachel Nielsen, the former executive director of the Colorado Resilience Collaborative at the University of Denver, provides resources for people who want to learn about how to talk to their family, friends and colleagues about extremism and those who might be increasingly radicalized.

Cliff Lampe, professor of information at the U-M School of Information discusses how social media fosters that extremism, the difficulty in regulating social media, while U-M librarians Hailey Mooney explores the concepts of fake news and disinformation, and Jo Angela Oehrli explains how disinformation successfully spreads through the internet.

More details and registration information for the Understanding and Addressing Extremism Teach-Out is available on Michigan Online.

Feature photo adapted from original courtesy of Flickr user Tyler Merbler under CC 2.0 Generic license.

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