Graduate Student of Security Studies, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University Prague
ONLINE RADICALIZATION: TWITTER PRIVATIZATION AS A THREAT TO THE MODERN SOCIETY
Social media plays a key role in the contemporary world, having indefinite power to influence people by just a single post and click of a button, reaching millions of people in a few seconds. In April 2022, Elon Musk announced his step into the world-famous‘wall of opinions’ – Twitter– with words of creating a better, free-speech-based platform with no limitations. Since online radicalization became the easiest and most powerful recruiting tool for terrorist and extremist organizations, this raised concerns about whether this action is beneficial or not. The aim of the paper was to describe the principle of online radicalization and present it via evidence-based examples, as well as transpose the known aspects of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. A comparison study was made between these known examples of radicalization on the Internet, currently used preventive policy principles and possible future steps based on the announcements of Elon Musk himself. Results confirmed that online radicalization is the most effective method for extremists, and that the society and authorities should keep an eye on the development of the platform regarding the real threat of losing control over the content that can be harmful to Twitter users. Free speech is a strong argument for freeing the rules of sharing content, but the ‘dark side’ of this move has to be considered as well.