May 31, 2024 | Atlantic

Jared Holt on the increase of online extremist rhetoric and the chances of online-to-offline mobilisation

ISD Senior Research Analyst Jared Holt spoke to the Atlantic about the increase in online extremist rhetoric following the guilty verdict against former President Donald Trump and whether these online calls for violence will have ramifications in the physical world.

Jared spoke about the path from extremist rhetoric online to offline mobilisation and how it is not immediate or linear. He referred to the January 6 Capitol Riot as an example of offline mobilisation that “came after a buildup of social and civil unrest in the U.S.” Without dismissing the potential for future violence in the current environment, he thinks that the current rhetoric spreading online isn’t gathering momentum for substantial grassroots violence. Instead, he believes such rhetoric, the most intense of which is sometimes coming “from the top”, is building “permission structures for the next Republican majority in the U.S. to come down incredibly hard on its critics.”

The full interview is available on the Atlantic website.