Home Department of Homeland Security is scouring gaming communities for ‘extremist content’

Department of Homeland Security is scouring gaming communities for ‘extremist content’

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are working with gaming community platforms to track ‘extremist content’.”

Thanks to a new government report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), it’s been revealed that the FBI and the DHS are working with gaming companies like Roblox, Discord, Reddit, and others. These platforms share the ability for members to interact with one another and create group chats or discussion threads at will.

“The FBI and DHS have some tools for sharing information with and receiving information from social media and gaming companies on threats related to domestic terrorism,” reads the report. “But neither agency has developed strategies and goals related to such information-sharing efforts.”

The GAO recommended in January 2024 that the two organizations develop stronger strategies in this area as part of wider efforts to counter ‘violent extremism.’ While gaming companies often have mechanisms to track and prevent extremism within their communities, the GAO reports recommend that this should also lie with national security agencies.

Even after the earlier recommendation, the GAO report highlights that the two agencies have further to go.

“The FBI and DHS have been taking steps to engage with social media and gaming companies to share information on threats related to domestic violent extremism,” the conclusion reads. “However, the FBI and DHS have not developed goals and strategies related to these information-sharing efforts.

“By establishing program goals and strategies, the FBI and DHS can help ensure that the mechanisms align with and serve the agencies’ overall missions.”

What counts as extremist content?

Within the report, the impact of ‘violent extremism’ in gaming communities is highlighted, reading: “Domestic violent extremists have used online platforms to recruit followers, plan and rally support for in-person actions, and disseminate materials that contribute to radicalization and mobilization to violence, among other purposes.”

Both the FBI and the DHS have teams dedicated to tracking activities of both “lone offenders and small groups of individuals” who the report states are “often radicalized online and “motivated by a mix of ideological, socio-political, and personal grievances.” The GAO reports describes such circumstances as “one of the most significant terrorism threats.”

In essence, it seems the national security agencies are looking for anyone with radicalized views on any topic that could expand into violence, either online or in real life.

Featured image: Pexels

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Rachael Davies
Tech Journalist

Rachael Davies has spent six years reporting on tech and entertainment, writing for publications like the Evening Standard, Huffington Post, Dazed, and more. From niche topics like the latest gaming mods to consumer-faced guides on the latest tech, she puts her MA in Convergent Journalism to work, following avenues guided by a variety of interests. As well as writing, she also has experience in editing as the UK Editor of The Mary Sue , as well as speaking on the important of SEO in journalism at the Student Press Association National Conference. You can find her full portfolio over on…

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.