Violent extremism refers to people's beliefs and actions in support of ideologically motivated violence with an aim to achieve radical ideological, political, and religious views. According to Neumann (2013), radicalization, on the other hand, refers to an action where a person or a group adopt gradually more intense political, social and religious ethics and aspiration that rejects and undermine the status quo or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of the nation. Radicalization and violent extremism are becoming very common in the wake of terrorism that is gaining popularity across the world. There has been widespread violent extremism and radicalization among the youths, especially on social online networking platforms. Social media platforms are used to recruit vulnerable and extremist people. These individuals are convinced through mutual aid and manipulated through various literature. They are then used to carry out attacks on the public. Violent extremism and radicalization have contributed to the killing of dozens of people. Execution of the attacks is through bombings and mass shootings. The most common form of explosions is the suicide bombers.
Law enforcement agencies, legislators, and technology companies have been making efforts to limit the extent of radicalization and violent extremism of the youth that is usually rampant on the internet (Neumann (2013). These terms have always been used to describe the young Muslim individuals who are generally inspired to take violent action through the use of online messages that are ever put across by the Islamist groups such as Islamic State. It is not only the Muslim jihadists who benefit from radicalization but also the white supremacists that also usually target the college campuses. They have figured out a most straightforward way to advance their objectives, and this is through the use of the internet. The internet has been used to recruit and coordinate some of these activities. The internet is the breeding ground for the advancements, and this is a significant threat. Several research groups in the United States and across Europe view the white supremacists and the jihadists as two faces of the same coin. Their objectives, activities, and ways of advancing these objectives are the same. Those who promote and implement ideologies of radicalization and violent extremism do not just agree with the mission and the message that the group spreads. They go to the extent of embracing these ideas of using violence to advocate for change.
Radicalization and violent extremism is a social issue that I aim to raise awareness to in this project. The primary area of focus that I will target is the youths and younger individuals who use social networking platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook among other platforms. The campaign will target both the males and females. The target area to be covered is a global audience since radicalization, and violent extremism is a global social issue that directly affects everyone. The individuals who advance the radicalization and violent extremism ideas usually target people who are unemployed and are victims of extreme poverty. Most of these individuals are typically learned people who have failed to secure employment and are vulnerable to money. They would, therefore, do anything possible to get the cash.
This section deals with ways of reaching the audience as a way of creating awareness on violent extremism and radicalization. From the introduction, it is evident that violent extremism and radicalization is advanced through the internet. The younger generation is usually the essential targets for the recruits; the main reason for this is because the young people typically spend most of their time on social networking platforms. Social media is used by the modern society to communicate. It is also a source of entertainment and a forum for running adverts by businesses to target prospective customers. Social networking platforms are also sources of news. It means that its usage has been gaining popularity since its use gained popularity.
Majority of the target audience is found on online platforms. It is the reason why I plan to launch an online campaign.
The goal of this campaign is to sensitize the youths on violent extremism and radicalization. For instance, YouTube is the second largest social media platform in the world. A large percentage of teens and millennial believe that YouTube creates and shapes cultures, including their lives. Online platforms provide the opportunity to build a network and engage with the system actively. This campaign will mix both the online and offline platforms to reach the target audience. However, much emphasis will be on the online platforms. The reason behind this is that the Islamic States uses well made high definition clips so that they can use the young people online.
It will be the second campaign that I plan to launch on social media. The campaign will run on the Facebook Page. I will choose an old deserted vehicle in a ghetto and write a message on the car using red paint to symbolize blood. The message will be: If dying for your faith makes you a martyr, what about those whom you kill for your faith? This message is written in capital letters. A character will be used in this poster. The actor will symbolize a dead body, and it will be inside the vehicle. A high definition picture of this will be taken and uploaded to the Facebook page as a sponsored content.
I will create a Facebook page with the name of my campaign. The title will be Radicalization Campaign network I will design a logo and use it as a profile picture on this profile. This profile will be used to share relevant contents. I will also use this profile to write messages to my intended audience. To get more people to like my page, I will use an amount of money to promote the page to grow an audience.
Fig. 1: A poster campaigning against radicalization and violent extremism.
The above poster will be uploaded to the Facebook page and accompanied website. It will run as a sponsored content. It means that an amount of money will be paid to promote the ad on Facebook. Sponsoring ads gives an opportunity to customize locations and target audiences. This ad will be tailored to target the members of extremist groups.
Fig. 2: Outlook of RCN Facebook page
This page will be an essential Facebook blog for Radicalization Campaign Network (RCN). The following will be the logo for the network.
Fig. 3 Logo
On the Facebook Page, I will post the following messages:
The Purpose of religion is to control you, not to criticize others.
Muslims, Christians, and Judaists. The enemy is Extremism
Whoever kills a guiltless life, it is as if he has killed all of humanity.
The above messages are posted on the Facebook page as a sponsored content. A hashtag will accompany the posts to generate conversations among the followers.
I will create a free blog on Word Press. On this blog, I will write articles that campaign against radicalization and violent extremism. This blog will use the domain www.wordpress.rcn.com.This blog will be hosted by WordPress. A link will be shared on the Facebook page to access the blog.
Concepts of Media
There are five fundamental concepts of media (Hartley, 2012). All media messages are constructed. In line with the above campaign, it means that all the media texts are made just the same way buildings are constructed. The second concept is that creative language is used with its own set of rules when coming up with media messages. This means that every form of communication has its unique creative language. This means that understanding the grammar and the root meanings help to relay the intended information. Media also have values and points of view embedded in them. The above messages have subtexts of what is more important. There I a choice of characters, gender, and other factors. Media messages are also organized to gain profit. The above created Facebook Page and blog can be used as an avenue for ads. They can help generate profit for the blogger.
This presentation has explained the meaning of what violent extremism and radicalization is. It has also pointed the negative aspects of extremism and why the society should refrain from it. A need for sensitization has identified, a situation that calls for a media campaign. The above campaign plan can be used in the real lie situation to help sensitize people on extremism and radicalization.
Hartley, J. (2012). Communication, cultural and media studies: The key concepts. Routledge.
Neumann, P. R. (2013). Options and strategies for countering online radicalization in the United States. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 36(6), 431-459.
Neumann, P. R. (2013). The trouble with radicalization. International Affairs, 89(4), 873-893.
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