Researchers warned about the psychological effects that could arise from pandemic isolation back in 2020. Now, two years later, some radicalised individuals are causing real-world violence, as is the case of the suspect in the Buffalo, New York, mass shooting. ISD analyst Ciarán O’Connor features in this article for ABC News speaking about the uptick in online radicalisation. Citing the 180-page manifesto, Ciarán says the 18-year-old was exhibiting “so many of the signs of people who have become engaged in conspiracies and extremist spaces over the last two years”.
With the pandemic receding and people spending less time online, there could be a decline in conspiracies. However, a lot of these theories and ways of thinking have now been planted and may be more difficult to eradicate.