In a statement, the AFP said that it has seen a concerning trend of members and associates of extremist groups targeting young people to expose them to dangerous content — including violent recreations of actual terrorist events — across online gaming platforms, reports Xinhua news agency.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner of Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations Command Sandra Booth said spreading extremist content on online gaming platforms was a serious concern for law enforcement agencies in Australia and around the world.
“We know that nationalist, racist and violent extremist content in online games is almost certainly part of a radicalization process for some young people.
“There are a number of popular games that enable users to create scenarios and record them for others to re-watch and share online across social media.
“Our concern is extremist groups are exploiting these platforms to target a very young group of Australia’s population, by creating content to share and encourage far-right/extremist ideologies and abhorrent violence against others,” she added.
According to AFP, far-right terrorism-related investigations have increased from 2 percent prior to 2020 to about 15 per cent in 2022.
Booth said parents and guardians could play a significant role in preventing extremist groups from preying on young Australians via online games.
The AFP encouraged parents and guardians to talk to their children and understand what games they are playing and who they may be interacting with in those games, and observe and interpret their children’s behaviour online.
The authorities also suggested several signs that need to be vigilant for such as using hateful or emotionally-charged language, an increase in the extremist nature of their rhetoric, or developing a fixation on conspiracy theories or contentious social issues.
AFP said it will continue to work with other law enforcement partners, through the Joint Counter Terrorism Teams, to identify and disrupt anyone who attempts to incite violence and spread harmful messages through the community.
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