The Current

Online anti-radicalization campaign creates dialogue on extremism

A new, national federally-funded campaign called Extreme Dialogue, is an online project aimed at young people, teachers, and parents. The premise is to get them talking openly about extremists and their messages, in a hope to fight radicalization. Can it work?
A new video series funded by Public Safety Canada aims to curb online radicalization but some experts believe combating radicalization is complicated and nuanced and questions if this may be enough. ( (Shuttershock))

The online video series is funded by Public Safety Canada via the Kanishka Project, a new $10 million dollar federal initiative which will invest in research on terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Rachel Briggs is a senior fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the British-based organization behind the Extreme Dialogue initiative and she was in Calgary.

We did ask Public Safety Canada for an interview, but got this statement instead:

"The Government of Canada is keeping our streets and communities safe, providing law enforcement agencies the tools they require to do the job we ask of them, and protecting this country from terrorists and the fear they hope to generate. Terrorism and violent extremism are global threats and Canada is not immune. Because threats evolve rapidly, we must improve our knowledge to better prevent and disrupt attacks. "

Developing policies and programs to counter violent extremism is an urgent concern right now. In Washington today, the White House's own three day summit on the topic is getting under way.... and U.S. President Obama will address the conference on Thursday.

For more on the kind of policies taking shape here in Canada, we were joined by Amarnath Amarasingam. He is with the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University, where he focuses on community resilience and radicalization. Amarnath Amarasingam was in New Orleans.

Shawn Powers says one of the most promising avenues today to pushback on extremism online could be off the internet -- and on the ground. He is an assistant professor of international communication at Georgia State University.

This segment was produced by The Current's Naheed Mustafa and Lara O'Brien.