Alt Right: Trolling
Before the alt-right movement became more widely known for neo-Nazism and white supremacism, its members were frequently described as internet trolls. But in the wake of Trump’s ascent to the White House and many subsequent public displays of neo-Nazi behavior in celebration of it, many people are asking whether “trolling” was ever the correct term to describe the alt-right’s behavior.
It’s not a failure of human intelligence that many people failed to take “trolling” more seriously. Much in the same way that fake news on Facebook was easy to dismiss until people realized its potential to massively influence many voters’ viewpoints, trolling obfuscates truth and reality, often through satirical means, in order to mask sincere propaganda.
Alt Right: Online Communities
“As an experiment, I hit the like button on the pages of a few Republican politicians and all of a sudden I found myself in a very different part of Facebook than I was used to.”
The alt-right isn’t one group. They don’t have one coherent identity. Rather, they’re a loose collection of people from disparate backgrounds who would never normally interact: bored teenagers, gamers, men’s rights activists, conspiracy theorists and, yes, white nationalists and neo-Nazis. But thanks to the internet, they’re beginning to form a cohesive group identity.
We’re witnessing the radicalization of young white men through the medium of frog memes. In order to see it, all you need to do is look at the words coming out of their mouths. The alt-right isn’t yet united, but it soon will be.
IN THE WEEKS leading up to the Charlottesville, Virginia white nationalist march that left one counterprotestor dead, organizers discussed inserting screws into flagpoles to be used as potential weapons and concealing firearms in the case of a “gunfight,” according to chatroom logs.