Louis Theroux: Extreme and Online Review
I say it time and time again but it’s terrifying how much the Internet has affected our everyday lives and how easily people can be swayed in their political views by something that has no validity.
Louis Theroux travels to America once again to look at extremists who use their online presence to create an army that follow their thoughts and opinions. In this we meet America First, that shadow a lot of what Britain First seem to believe in, and this is run by a man who looks far too young to even have this sort of power.
In America First they talk about things like white supremacy, and how women are lesser humans and don’t deserve the right to vote, and how Trump was robbed etc. There are so many things in their values and commitments that turn even the most hardened Republicans away from them because they are so extreme, and the only reason that this group have been able to become so powerful in their bubble is because of the Internet and social media giving them a platform to shout about their hatred.
One of the members uses Twitch – a streaming service – to talk about things like this and it was interesting for Louis to meet a woman who used to be part of America First who was subjected to horrific harassment by her fellow members just because she was a woman, and had to be removed from that situation for her own safety. It’s disgusting that even when someone wants to be part of your group and help you spread the word of your teachings that you still can’t get past your bigotry and hate just because they are not a white male.
Social media is such a catch-22 because often people with the most understanding and intelligence in their area are the quietist and they don’t need to shout about everything because people know that they have the qualifications to back it up. However people who do not, like the American First members, will have the biggest voices and they will constantly be spouting these horrific ideals and thoughts and thus people follow them because they believe, because they are the loudest, they are the most knowledgeable on these issues when they’re not. Unfortunately they are the ones that use social media the way it should be used through being vocal whereas the people who actually know what they’re doing take much more of a back seat and don’t need that validity from others.
It’s a terrifying world we live in today and unless something is done with hate speech and misinformation then it’s never going to end. We can never come to a peaceful agreement on anything because there is always someone who will have a differing opinion that is based on misinformation. I really enjoy Louis Theroux’s documentaries and while he has made some in the past that I didn’t agree with as much, this one was definitely one that was very intriguing and very anger inducing. But we need to remember that often these people in their bubble have a big stake in the world but in the grand scheme of things they don’t, and we shouldn’t be terrified of them because that just gives them power.
If you enjoy Louis Theroux you will enjoy this documentary. It is much like his others and looks at the most extreme areas of America which is always going to be fascinating, however don’t let it skew your version of the world we live in, these people may have loud voices but they are the minorities and while they are out there they are not everyone and there are still good people too who do not believe what these people believe.
What do you think of Extreme and Online?
Until next time.