ABA Journal: New database tracks the prosecution of right-wing extremists. “A new online data project is tracking far-right extremism by collecting and aggregating federal and state criminal cases against extremists, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis.”
BuzzFeed News: LinkedIn Is Now Home To Hyperpartisan Political Content, False Memes, And Troll Battles. “They have American flags and ‘MAGA’ in their profiles, share political memes and hyperpartisan news to their followers, and complain that their posts are being censored because they love Donald Trump. But instead of being active on Twitter and Facebook, these Trump supporters have brought the meme wars to the platform best known for Broetry, influencers, and professional networking: LinkedIn.” I thought Broetry might be some kind of weird typo, but it’s a thing, and BuzzFeed has a whole article about it.
CNET: Gab, the social network used by the Pittsburgh shooting suspect, returns online. “Gab, a fringe social network used by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect, resurfaced on Sunday. The site, which markets itself as a bastion of free speech amid censorship of extremists on Twitter and Facebook, was intermittently available late Sunday. Clicking on links to the site sometimes would produce error messages, but that didn’t seem to stop some of the site’s 800,000 users from posting celebratory messages, praising the company for coming back online.”
The Intercept: Facebook Allowed Advertisers To Target Users Interested In “White Genocide” — Even In Wake Of Pittsburgh Massacre. “APPARENTLY FUELED BY anti-Semitism and the bogus narrative that outside forces are scheming to exterminate the white race, Robert Bowers murdered 11 Jewish congregants as they gathered inside their Pittsburgh synagogue, federal prosecutors allege. But despite long-running international efforts to debunk the idea of a ‘white genocide,’ Facebook was still selling advertisers the ability to market to those with an interest in that myth just days after the bloodshed.”
CNN: Podcasts help extremists get their message out. “Podcasts were once relegated to niche corners of the web, but the format has become much more mainstream in recent years. An estimated 73 million people in the United States tune into a podcast every month, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital. Extremists, spouting racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and anti-immigrant beliefs, have followed the trend and are broadcasting their messages as established social media outlets crack down on similar content.”
BuzzFeed News: The Conspiratorial Hate We See Online Is Increasingly Appearing In Real Life. “Connecting the online footprints to tragedies in the physical world also reveals an undeniable truth: that the dichotomy between an online world and ‘real life’ is (and has always been) a false one. The hatred, trolling, harassment, and conspiracy theorizing of the internet’s underbelly cannot be dismissed as empty, nihilistic performance. It may be a game, but it’s a game with consequences. And it’s spilling into the physical world with greater, more alarming frequency.”
Bellingcat: From Memes to Infowars: How 75 Fascist Activists Were “Red-Pilled”. “The vast majority of domestic terror attacks in the U.S. are carried out by white supremacist organizations. Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi death squad with five killings to their name, is probably the deadliest fascist group to have arisen since 2016. One member of Atomwaffen, Vasillios Pistolis, was an active duty U.S. marine when he marched at the first Unite the Right rally. Pistolis also posted regularly on a series of fascist and white supremacist Discord servers, prior to and after joining Atomwaffen. The media collective Unicorn Riot has archived hundreds of thousands of posts from these Discord servers. Their database includes dozens of conversations where fascists discuss how they were converted to their extremist beliefs. In an effort to understand that process, Bellingcat collected ‘red-pilling’ stories from seventy-five fascist activists. The analysis is below, details on the activists we studied can be found here.” Disturbing content, to say the least.