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Hiding in plain sight: how the 'alt-right' is weaponizing irony to spread fascism • The Guardian
Jason Wilson:
<p>Last week, the Data & Society Institute <a href="">released a report</a> on the online disinformation and manipulation that is increasingly shaping US politics. The report focused on the way in which far-right actors “spread white supremacist thought, Islamophobia, and misogyny through irony and knowledge of internet culture”.

One the report’s authors, Dr Alice Marwick, says that fascist tropes first merged with irony in the murkier corners of the internet before being adopted by the “alt-right” as a tool. For the new far-right movement, “irony has a strategic function. It allows people to disclaim a real commitment to far-right ideas while still espousing them.”

Marwick says that from the early 2000s, on message boards like 4chan, calculatedly offensive language and imagery have been used to “provoke strong reactions in outsiders”. Calling all users “fags”, or creating memes using gross racial stereotypes, “serves a gate-keeping function, in that it keeps people out of these spaces, many of which are very easy to access”.

Violating the standards of political correctness and the rules of polite interactions “also functions as an act of rebellion” in spaces drenched in adolescent masculinity.

This was played up by Milo Yiannopoulos in an infamous Breitbart explainer last year, in which he insisted that the “alt-right” movement’s circulation of antisemitic imagery was really nothing more than transgressive fun.

“Are they actually bigots?”, Yiannopoulos asked rhetorically. “No more than death metal devotees in the 1980s were actually Satanists. For them, it’s simply a means to fluster their grandparents.”

What Yiannopoulos left out, according to Marwick, is that these spaces increasingly became attractive to sincere white supremacists. They offered them venues for recruitment, and new methods for popularising their ideas.

In other words, troll culture became a way for fascism to hide in plain sight.</p>

Another reason to really dislike trolling.
altright  trolling 
5 days ago by charlesarthur
The Conservative Force Behind Speeches Roiling College Campuses - The New York Times
The group, the Young America’s Foundation, had paid Mr. Spencer’s $2,000 fee, trained the student leader who organized the event and provided literature for distribution. Other than the possibility of outside interference, little had been left to chance.

Continue reading the main story

Berkeley Cancels Ann Coulter Speech Over Safety Fears APRIL 19, 2017

In Ann Coulter’s Speech Battle, Signs That Conservatives Are Emboldened APRIL 26, 2017

Opinion On Campus
When Flamethrowers Like Ann Coulter Come to Campus MAY 2, 2017

Continue reading the main story

The speeches are a part of the group’s mission of grooming future conservative leaders — Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller, a White House adviser, are among its alumni — and its long list of donors has included the television game show host Pat Sajak, the novelist Tom Clancy, the billionaire brothers David H. and Charles G. Koch, and the Amway billionaires Richard and Helen Devos, who gave $10 million to endow the Reagan Ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif., which the foundation runs as a preserve. (Their daughter-in-law, Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, is not a donor, the group says.)
plutocracy  trolling  koch  college  universities 
8 days ago by sampenrose
Free Speech and Hate Speech
Hate speech and harassment, if either de jure or de facto legal, silence the weak and amplify the powerful. Thus seemingly “apolitical” or “symmetric” treatments of speech have profoundly political consequences, and we must never pretend that they don’t.
by:YonatanZunger  from:Medium  FreeSpeech  HateSpeech  harassment  trolling  politics  Internet 
13 days ago by owenblacker
Fuck You And Die: An Oral History of Something Awful - Motherboard
Current internet culture is rooted in the forums. These are the people who made it what it was.
digitalstorytelling  trolling 
5 weeks ago by timlockridge
Experimenter effects and the remote detection of staring
A perfectly rigorous paper that ends up with discussion raising the possibility of either author hacking the computer to create the nonsense results
Metascience  Trolling 
6 weeks ago by Xaverius
Online Harassment & The Internet Experiment - The Illusion of MoreThe Illusion of More
the belief that cyberspace remains some magical realms beyond the normal boundaries of society continues to delay rational discourse on any number of problems specifically caused or exacerbated by the technology.
harassment  trolling  4chan  internet 
6 weeks ago by rachaelsullivan
Me and My Troll - MIT Technology Review
Years of unhappy interactions with an online commenter compelled the publisher of MIT Technology Review to rethink how his site hosts conversations.
comments  trolling  media 
6 weeks ago by SimonHurtz
Nature of Glutamate Alterations in Schizophrenia
Paper doesn't say much, but it's literally a chemical imbalance, so worth using only to shut up that stupid catchphrase
Psychiatry  MentalHealth  Trolling 
6 weeks ago by Xaverius
RT : Honestly, Australian politics are next level
trolling  auspol  from twitter
6 weeks ago by parisba
Honestly, Australian politics are next level
auspol  trolling  from twitter_favs
6 weeks ago by kyleridolfo

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