Saturday, April 21, 2018

McInnes, Molyneux, and 4chan: Investigating pathways to the alt-right

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What brings someone into the alt-right ecosystem?

The question was posed in two threads posted during the last week of March on the white nationalist forum The Right Stuff (TRS), leading 74 individual users to describe their radicalization narratives.

Respondents recount a transformation that takes place almost entirely online. Led either by their own curiosity or an algorithm, the content they consumed became increasingly extreme, fostering their radicalization and guiding them eventually to TRS. Their responses reveal a pipeline between the alt-lite and racist “alt-right,” with many users explaining that alt-lite figures like Gavin McInnes were the first to introduce them to hardcore, veteran white nationalists.

The two threads, titled “WHAT BROUGHT YOU INTO THE MOVEMENT?” and “Path here beginning from Gavin,” asked posters to reflect on their own “red pill” narratives and provide tips for converting others. “Here’s the challenge,” a user identified as The Somalisher wrote. “Create a list of succession from the Alt-Light to us. I have friends who like Gavin…But I can’t exactly throw [Andrew] Anglin at them.”

The user continued, “It sometimes requires softer steps to ‘radical’ perspectives.”

The two threads refer specifically to bringing people into the fold of TRS and the Daily Stormer, which together serve as the core of neo-Nazism online. TRS, the brainchild of Mike “Enoch” Peinovich, started as a political blog in 2012 and has since transformed into one of the largest alt-right media platforms. It hosts a lively message board called the 504um and dozens of podcasts, the most popular of which are “The Daily Shoah” and news-oriented “Fash the Nation.” The Daily Stormer operates in the same orbit, consciously using humor to indoctrinate its readers.

Together, the two sites have become the preeminent propaganda machines for the alt-right. They’re also some of the most effective spaces for organizing real-world, local groups, called “book clubs” by the Stormer and “pool parties” on TRS.  (more...)

Of particular interest is that the movement no longer bats an eye at gays. Traditional minorities have been muscled out of rights discourse and been marginalized by the new kids on the block. Witness:

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Log Cabin Republicans? LGBTory? Return of the Brownshirts?
Yep. The gay scene's less hassle than this:

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"I LUV the smell of Vaseline in the morning. It's the smell of... DEATH!"

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