Youth and Social Media: Potential Paths to Radicalization

The Conference Board of Canada, December 1, 2015
Recorded Webinar
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The rising use of the internet and connected personal devices among younger Canadians has sparked concern about how social media is being used to shape the beliefs, behaviours, and attachments of Canadian youth. On one hand, these platforms offer youth spaces in which to discuss hot button issues, engage with conflicting views, and develop new kinds of identities and relations. On the other hand, they also facilitate group think, which can focus on hateful attitudes online and escalate into violent behaviour offline. How social media function as fertile grounds for the creation and dissemination of content that leads to radicalization among Canadian youth is therefore a topic of growing interest to many Canadian policymakers and practitioners.

Join Dr. Tieja Thomas as she discusses this timely issue using insights gleaned from her applied research program. In this webinar, Tieja will provide audiences with concrete strategies for identifying key, pervasive social narratives, as well as recommendations for developing public campaigns aimed at disrupting inflammatory online rhetoric.

Webinar Highlights

During this 60-minute session, you will learn about:

  • current trends in technology and social media usage among Canadian youth
  • what the public and private sector can learn from public opinion expressed and reinforced through social media, particularly as it relates to potential paths to radicalization
  • cutting edge strategies for identifying prominent social narratives, assessing how narratives are received online, and creating ‘bottom-up’ alternative narratives

About Tieja

Photo of About Tieja ThomasDr. Tieja Thomas is a Research Associate in The Conference Board of Canada’s Technology and Innovation team. She holds a Ph.D. from Concordia University, where her research program explored how such socio-political phenomena as hate, violence, and oppression resulting from cultural difference are manifested and negotiated in online environments. Tieja has been the recipient of a number of scholarships and awards related to her studies and research experiences, including a research grant from the Kanishka Project Contribution Program (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada).

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