×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hate Groups Are Using Online Games To Recruit Teens (Report)

Some extremist groups are using multiplayer games and in-game chat functions as a way to recruit new members, NPR reports.

It’s happening not only in-game, but via platforms like Discord and Reddit, as well. Some recruitment occurs during game livestreams on Twitch and YouTube, and even some harassment campaign planning occurs via these platforms.

Unicorn Riot published chat logs from Discord last year which revealed plans for the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally from white supremacists, according to NPR.

So why are the groups taking to gaming spaces for new members? According to Joan Donovan of Data and Society, a research institute, white supremacists have a history of being innovative with using online spaces for recruitment. And, Donovan says that first-person shooter games are one space to find angry young men, according to NPR.

“I saw how these groups communicated and spread out to other spaces online with the intent of not telling people specifically that they were white supremacists, but they were really trying to figure out what young men were angry about and how they could leverage that to bring about a broad-based social movement,” Donovan said.

While gaming platforms like Steam often ban hate speech, it’s a challenge to find the hate groups with so many users. As a result, many platforms rely on users to report hateful speech.

Greg Boyd of the law firm Frankfurt Kurnit pointed out that Microsoft, PlayStation, and Steam host 48 million, 70 million, and 130 million active users, respectively, every month.

“That’s the populations of Spain, France, and Russia,” Boyd said. “And then imagine that you’re monitoring all of their text chat…all of their voice chat, in literally every language, dialect, and subdialect spoken in the world.”

More Gaming

  • 'Devil May Cry 5' Ships Two

    'Devil May Cry 5' Ships Two Million Copies in First Two Weeks

    “Devil May Cry 5,” the latest entry in the long-running stylish action series from Capcom, shipped over 2 million units globally in its first two weeks. Capcom announced on Friday that the game achieved that milestone across the various platforms it’s appeared on, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It’s enjoyed a massively successful [...]

  • 'Star Wars Battlefront II' Gets New

    'Star Wars Battlefront II' Gets New Capital Supremacy Mode Next Week

    Electronic Arts’ online shooter “Star Wars: Battlefront II” is getting a new game mode called Capital Supremacy next week, the publisher announced on Friday. “Starting Mar. 26, the forces of the Galactic Republic and Separatists clash in Capital Supremacy – an immersive, Clone Wars-era authentic experience in ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ – where non-linear ground [...]

  • What Game Workers Can Learn From

    What Game Workers Can Learn From Other Labor Organizations

    One year ago at GDC, Game Workers Unite packed a room with developers from across the industry hoping to take a stand against challenging, sometimes abusive, work conditions. The group has had a significant presence at this year’s event, with unionization even taking center stage during the Game Developers Choice Awards. The Game Workers Unite [...]

  • Dire Wolf Brings 'Eternal' and 'Raiders

    Dire Wolf Brings 'Eternal,' 'Raiders of the North Sea' to Switch This Spring

    Dire Wolf announced it’s bringing the popular free-to-play digital collectible card game “Eternal” and board game “Raiders of the North Sea” to Nintendo Switch this spring. “Eternal” and “Raiders of the North Sea” will mark the studio’s first Nintendo Switch titles, and will mark Dire Wolf’s first releases in their recently-announced bid to bring digital [...]

  • The 'PUBG Mobile' Club Open Gets

    The 'PUBG Mobile' Club Open Gets $2.5 Million Prize Pool

    The “PUBG Mobile” Club Open (PMCO) will have a $2.5 million prize pool when it debuts this year, developer PUBG Corp. and publisher Tencent announced on Friday. “PUBG Mobile” esports director James Yang made the announcement during a celebration for the battle royale title’s first anniversary. The PMCO features a Spring and Fall Split. The [...]

  • Cinematic Platformer 'Stela' Focuses on Depth,

    Cinematic Platformer 'Stela' Focuses on Depth, Mystery

    Depth means a lot of things in game design. It sometimes alludes to how intricate a system of combat or movement is under the surface. It could also focus on how many layers of character development a story features. Depth is a concept that most developers try to tackle at some point while designing their [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content