New community resources to tackle extremism and disinformation

Important new online resources aimed at tackling extremism and disinformation in the community have been launched in Western Australia.

Created by Curtin Extremism Research Network (CERN) with funding from the U.S. Consulate General Perth and Curtin University’s Faculty of Humanities, the free learning modules provide awareness training to help community and business leaders, educators, law enforcement and young people understand and address the challenges posed by the growing threat of extremism.

The modules comprise five 15-25-minute audio episodes explaining the contemporary context of extremism and providing practical tips for people to identify and manage situations involving extremist behaviour.

The modules also include teaching slides and reading lists for participants to learn more about the topics including disinformation, conspiracy theory, racism and the manosphere.

CERN Co-Director Dr Ben Rich said it was increasingly important for the community to have accessible, open-sourced materials addressing extremism and disinformation, which posed a threat to the cohesion and safety of our society.

“Many people dealing with these issues find themselves feeling isolated and without guidance or support. Our goal is to ensure they have resources to draw upon that help them better understand and respond to situations,” Dr Rich said.

“Whether it be conspiracy sentiment, racial and religious extremism or the growth of online misogyny, it is important for community members to understand where these issues are coming from and know how to respond to this evolving challenge.

“These resources were developed through CERN’s research into the deeper social, political and economic factors that have led us to the current situation, rather than just viewing the problem from a counterterrorism and national security perspective.”

The modules can be downloaded for free here.

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