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Centre for Inquiry: An insight into digital hate and critical thinking

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
December 1st, 2011

The Centre for Inquiry-West Kootenay Branch is sponsoring a presentation on digital hate and critical thinking this Friday in Nelson at the Oxygen Art Centre (7:30 p.m.).

Edwin Hodge is a political science graduate student at the University of British Columbia, a member of the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism, as well as a member of the Centre for Inquiry in Kelowna and will be presenting his research on white supremacy movements.

The Internet has been something of a double-edged sword for most of its existence. While offering people all over the world access to information they might never have seen otherwise, modern communications technology has also proved to be a boon to racist organizations desperate to get their message out.

To a great extent, their attempts have been successful; there are now more than 1,000 known hate groups present in the United States, and their numbers continue to grow. These groups are religious, secular, white supremacist, black supremacist, anti-Semitic, anti-government, and many other flavours besides.

How has their message been adapted to fit into the digital age? How do they recruit? Who are their leaders, and who joins their causes? How does one counter an idea that can spread around the world in the blink of an eye? How can a person recognize racist speech – especially when it has been specifically tailored to appear non-racist?

The presentation will be at the Nelson Oxygen Centre, Friday Dec. 2, 7:30 pm and will be free for students, and a suggested donation of $2 for everyone else.

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