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How A Jacksonville Man Was Seduced By Online Extremism – And Overcame Hate

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WJCT

How A Jacksonville Man Was Seduced By Online Extremism – And Overcame Hate

By Melissa Ross

Mak Kapetanovic is a 22-year-old, well-spoken, mild-mannered University of North Florida student. He's also a former white supremacist who's now devoted to deprogramming other young men like himself.

Kapetanovic says his story is a case study into how easily people can be sucked into a toxic digital sphere that radicalizes followers into white nationalist, extremist beliefs. And he's concerned that governments around the world aren't doing enough to combat online extremism.

"The sort of casual racism and misogyny that was prevalent in a lot of online video games and chats and stuff, that was sort of the first thing that kind of made me think, ‘Oh, these kinds of jokes and these kinds of things are OK.’ That opened the door," he said Tuesday on WJCT’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

"It was like I knew some sort of secret about the world that other people didn't know,” he remembers when he found hate-filled message boards as a teenager.

Read more: https://news.wjct.org/post/how-jacksonville-man-was-seduced-online-extremism-and-overcame-hate