Is the internet really more effective at radicalizing people than older media?

Gavrilo Princip was 19-years-old, impressionable and increasingly alienated as his political views grew more extreme.

By the time he arrived in Sarajevo to assassinate the heir to the throne in an empire of more than 51 million people and alter the course of modern history in 1914, he’d been radicalized via means available for millennia.

The internet is certainly far from the first medium used to foster extremism. But it seems to be uniquely effective.

Among the individuals profiled in PIRUS, a detailed database of people in the US who were radicalized, social media played a role in the process for 27% of them between 2005 and 2010. That increased to 73% between 2011 and 2016.

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