Why people become radical extremists and how to help them

New research sheds light on the indoctrination process of radical extremist groups.

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  • A new study features interviews with 24 former extremists on the radicalization process.
  • Financial instability, online propaganda, and reorienting events that caused them to "snap" are leading causes of indoctrination.
  • The research team offers potential solutions, including exposure to diverse ideas during childhood and a tamping down of polarization and media sensationalism.
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Bellingcat is transforming investigative journalism with open-sourced information

The independent news collective is teaching a new generation of journalists and citizens to spot the stories in plain sight.

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  • Bellingcat has used open sources, such as satellite maps and social media posts, to unmask Russian spies and solve mysterious plane crashes.
  • The independent news collective blends the investigative methods of citizen journalism with the guidelines of a traditional news outlet.
  • It hopes to make open-source investigative techniques mainstream, setting an example in our era of vast data and "counterfactual communities."
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    Is it time to decriminalize prostitution? Two New York bills answer yes in unique ways

    One bill hopes to repeal the crime of selling sex and expand social services; the other would legalize the entire sex trade.

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  • Today in the majority of the United States, it is a crime to sell sex, buy it, or promote its sale.
  • The Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act would decriminalize prostitution in New York state while maintaining punitive measures against buyers and pimps.
  • Opponents suggest this law would only push the illegal sex trade further underground and seek full decriminalization for everyone involved.
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    Here's a 10-step plan to save our oceans

    By 2050, there may be more plastic than fish in the sea.

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    • 2050 is predicted to be a bleak milestone for the oceans - but it's not too late to avert disaster.
    • Here are 10 actions the world can take to strengthen and preserve our oceans for generations to come.
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    Study: Personal anecdotes are more effective at bridging divides than facts

    Most people believe you can win an argument with facts - but when "facts" are so often subject to doubt, are personal experiences trusted more?

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    • A new study has found that people are more likely to get respect from others in moral and political conversations when sharing personal experiences instead of facts.
    • The research group conducted 15 separate experiments to test this theory in order to learn more about tolerance in specifically political arguments.
    • The effectiveness of facts in these conversations (even when proven true) is unclear because facts themselves are now subject to doubt, especially surrounding controversial and polarizing topics such as gun control and political beliefs.
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