Experts say hateful rhetoric online is a danger to everyone

Peter Trumbore has studied terrorism and violence

DETROIT – Thirteen men were arrested after a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was uncovered.

The attack was supposed to be carried out this month at Whitmer’s vacation home. It was stopped by state police and FBI agents.

READ: Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot: Here’s what we’ve learned as of Friday afternoon

When the kidnapping plot was foiled and publicized, comments on social media supporting the domestic terrorists starting popping up. Supporters of the crime take to social media and when they do they spread violence through their words.

Terrorism and political violence expert professor Peter Trumbore said comments like those is a danger to everyone.

He has studied terrorism and violence and he said there is a direct correlation to far right terrorists and extremists and their ability to incite and carry out violence and bring in sympathizers.

Experts said the rhetoric can’t be ignored, but you can tamp it down by making sure it’s not welcome in your social media accounts.

Trumbore said, for people you personally know, engage them in polite conversation -- don’t try to change their minds -- but remind them that it’s not patriotic. If you don’t know them personally, don’t engage. Every interaction is gasoline on the fire, simply block them.

READ: Gov. Whitmer kidnapping suspects linked to ‘boogaloo’ anti-government movement, NBC News finds

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