hi! i'm making an essay type thing on the growth of the right due to the internet.
- the sites that play a role
- what role did the internet have in its growth
- their vocabulary and symbolism
- why can't leftist groups grow like this
i could use any and all input you have for this and i would also love it if you had any sources or anything such as news articles, studies, docus, videos, etc.
please also boost to spread!!! i rly need some help
@citrustwee the daily stormer was a pretty influential website. here's their style guide for posting, its word for word the kind of irony shit that nazis use online these days so it's pretty illuminating https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/daily-stormer-nazi-style-guide_us_5a2ece19e4b0ce3b344492f2
@wintgenstein thank you!!!
@citrustwee you got sources to dig i to yet? I can point out that the obsession of free speech moderation on pol lead to stormfront, literal nazis, going there to try to spread their shit. The liberal fetishisation of free speech allowing their incubation is a very key point imo
@CornishRepublicanArmy thats great! right now im just working on the basics of 4chan and reddit
I think there's a lot to be said about Facebook too and the insular communities that existed there in the form of groups. People assumed Facebook users wouldn't hide behind anonymous usernames, given the purpose as a social networking site, but of course they did
@citrustwee I do not envy you digging into gamer gate. that shit was the explosion of all of the buildup of the 'incubation', ugh you're also gonna have to cover Anita Sarkeesian and see so many bad takes from her liberal feminism AND the opposing fascists and gamers (same thing really)
@CornishRepublicanArmy i don't know if i'll really cover gamergate but i'll see - i honestly don't know too much about it. i was just like 1 or 2 years too young at the time
@citrustwee honestly, you kinda have to. that entire new generation of fascists got into politics via gamer gate, and gamer gate basically frames the whole '''''culture war''''' of the past few years
@citrustwee @CornishRepublicanArmy probably obvious but have you seen Vice’s special coverage episode on Charlottesville feat. The birth of “crying racist” but previously proud AF on the episode Cristopher cant-be-well? (Cantwell) ? He was literally banished from the state I think wonder what he’s up to these days. I remember when he gave his actual phone number in the crying video and I called him, left baited messages telling him I had plans to smuggle him to Canada.
@CornishRepublicanArmy @citrustwee "liberals are weenies" is a lot of why this shit happened. the right doesn't have to deal with thousands of concern trolls to be a nazi, whereas being a leftist is dealing with whining, obstruction, and inaction bc "omg u said to punch nazis is bad violence is bad uwu" from the worst imaginable dweebs, constantly
@anna @CornishRepublicanArmy @citrustwee It's more than that, though. In the US and the West generally there's a premium on free speech ,and if *anyone* dares to question it, they're met with derision from both sides (whoever they are in that instance) "What, don't you care about democracy and freedom?" etc. is a straw man argument and literally everyone knows it, but people are too afraid to say "well maybe you shouldn't say hateful shit in public?" because that's not considered acceptable.
@anna @CornishRepublicanArmy @citrustwee they're allowed to flourish not just due to that, but also *other* social media sites that have either dug in their heels and refused to change or simply said they were working on it and didn't really care enough to because it provided more revenue even if it was due to being a bigot.
I'll have to find articles again, but the genocide in Myanmar, for example, was helped along by Facebook. Jack Posobeic of Twitter refused to deplatform people
@anna @CornishRepublicanArmy @citrustwee knowing that they would continue to spread harmful, hateful viewpoints under the same guise that Anne and CRA noted above - free speech absolutism is poison, and refusing to challenge the notion that maybe some people have terrible opinions that don't need to be spread are part of the issue.
(I'll look around for some of the things i've read from various sources on this)
@Mateo @CornishRepublicanArmy @citrustwee well that and the free speech is selective. it only applies to hate speech, you don't get free speech for talking about leftist stuff, if you're not a cishet white dude, if you edify or defend marginalized people, or say really anything that challenges the status quo
@citrustwee have you seen those videos by shaun (the fate of the frog men & white men/2018 plans) and also, have you read anything by angela nagle
@neufv i have not!! can you link me?
@citrustwee i suggest you to check out Innuendo Studios, a great youtuber on this topis. If you haven't already of course.
@policeinchains thank you!!
@citrustwee I suggest checking out "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer, it covers basically the last century of work by right wing millionaires who, recognizing that academia & govt had rejected their views, set about spending billions to change that via think tanks and astroturf. It helps explain why the Tea Party was able to take off so suddenly.
@citrustwee also "we hunted the mammoth" is a great resource, as it started out documenting the "manosphere" like 12 years ago and evolved to documenting its convergence with white supremacists & neo-Nazis. Dave Futrelle maintains it, he's very nice & will answer questions in comments or emails. Pretty sure that's his name.
@SallyStrange does it have to do with the internet? bc thats specifically what my thing is about
@citrustwee yes, not directly, but in the last few chapters, it talks about how they used the internet to astroturf their movement (indeed, to essentially invent astroturfing)
@citrustwee (I'm still reading so if I come across some choice tidbits I'll let you know!)
@SallyStrange thank you! if you find anything that's especially good please send me a pic or something!
@citrustwee I surely will! 😊
@citrustwee My personal favorite work on this is Neoreaction A Basilisk by Elizabeth Sandifer. It's a collection of loosely connected essays, the first one (Neoreaction) does a lot of the heavy lifting, but the other 5 are really useful and The Blind All Seeing Eye of Gamergate is both excellent and freely available. Here it is if you want a preview:
@citrustwee i think kiwifarms is worth mentioning, as well as how popular sites like facebook, tumblr, and twitter's ToS are written, and sometimes even intentionally changed, to skew in favour of hard right-wing values while demonizing marginalised people. also how several influential "alt-right" talking heads have cited gamergate as essentially recruitment grounds for their ilk
@citrustwee also there's this guy i follow on twitter who is a historian and shows what language was used in these kinds of movements before the internet as well and being able to see the evolution of symbols/language from before the internet to now might be helpful for you, you can check him out here:
@glyzinite thank you so much!!!
@citrustwee yeah np! if you need anything else lmk, i might be able to help point you in the right direction of some folks who are far more eloquent in speaking about these things than i, lmao
@citrustwee My friend - this is a topic I am very interested in
--One site that is absolutely essential to understanding the alt-right, particularly the idiosyncrasies that distinguish it from past right-wing movements, is 4chan, & particularly the /pol/ board.
-- The internet had a massive role in the movement, particularly because it allowed for communication amongst folks holding such views while simultaneously allowing them to remain anonymous (which was KEY for that movement)
-- Also, the cultural trend of transitioning from traditional news outlets to social media, in which individuals rather than institutions curated news, was essential to the rise of the RW. This also stems from the growing (and in many ways, justified) distrust the American populace has in mainstream media across the board
-- Vocabulary & Symbolism: They use language that appeals more to working class folk than neoconservatives do. However they couch all of their arguments in terms
@Smithums thank you!!!
of a testament to strength & reverence for virility, which they claim is under attack: e.g. Instead of saying "we need to rethink trade deals to lift wages in order to help people" they'd say "we need to eliminate free trade because these massive corporations are fucking you over - or are you just gonna let them walk all over you?!?". The way these arguments are framed is very important.
-- Symbols - a mix of traditional fascistic aesthetics: clean cut militant aesthetics, eagles
@Smithums yes! for the symbolism i was also thinking about the triple parentheses thing and "1488" type shit that mean nothing to the average person but are an obvious dogwhistle
Yes - good point! The alt-right, when playing smart, almost never use overt symbolism like the swastika. They "meme" these dog whistles into social discourse.
There's actually an argument amongst alt-right folks between those that focus on directly spreading ideology (these tend to be the neo-nazi types) and those more wary of optics (those who want to be more subversive / covert)
@Smithums oh really?? what're they saying?
Basically, the more radical & over folks believe that those obsessed with optics are making too many concessions to the conventional right-wing (i.e. republicans) & to the left-wing. They claim that being radical and overt is more politically effective because it energizes the base & inspires those with latent right-wing sympathies rather than converting folks through more sneaky/subversive means
@citrustwee the "optics" side believes that being too overt will galvanize the left-wing & drive away folks who are on the fence politically-speaking
I dunno if that's useful to you since it predates the internet but the notion of systematically using dogwhistles and subverting symbols (like the Norse runic alphabet) has been theorized by European fascists in the 70s, more specifically the French "new right". It's an old idea, it's been in their playbook for decades now.
It didn't really work until the internet took off though.
art deco style & gothic architecture. There is also an emphasis on nostalgic throwbacks to the 1950s-1970s. You'll see lots of alt-right accounts throwing up advertisements from the 50s. Also, look up vapor-wave music. Weird mix of contemporary electronic with references to the 50s-70s.
-- I think the left has spread some as of late as the political center has decayed, but the alt-right is more successful because in all honesty, the left is more fractious. They seem to have more
infighting while the various groups on the right (& they are not homogenous, at least ideologically -- e.g. there are neo-pagans, fundamentalist christians, atheists, hardcore capitalist accelerationists, ethno-national socialists, etc.) are more willing to put differences aside to achieve an end. The left has gotten soft and minor disputes that are blown out of proportion hinder organization.
@Smithums yes! i'm going to be looking into some specific memes and ofcourse the ADL hate symbols database
I find ADL and SPLC to be over-eager to define everything even peripherally related to the alt-right to be a hate symbol
There's an alt-right social media site, kinda like twitter/mastodon, called Gab. Because the community is 95% alt-right, they're more direct with discussing their ideology & "strategy." Also, you can see the whole gambit of right-wing meme-usage there. Warning though: it is wild -- so folks probably won't be ale to stomach it
@citrustwee i think explaining what a dogwhistle is is key for something like this. you could connect that to the type of moderation CRA already talked about, the protection of fascist rhetoric as humor, and the culture that it creates.
i thought of recommending Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew to answer your fourth question, but i haven't read it myself. this section of it is often quoted in these kinds of discussions: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7870768-never-believe-that-anti-semites-are-completely-unaware-of-the-absurdity
@citrustwee twitter, reddit, and 4chan progressively went from jokes with extremist views and "offensive" humor and then manipulative members of the alt right lead people to actually reflect on the ideologies
kids on those sites can fit a large, primarily male, primarily straight, and primarily white demographic, full of kids who dont really "fit in" in their environments. the internets full of nihilistic vulnerable teenagers to be melded into vessels of hatred
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