'Alt-Right' Trolls Weaponized Irony to Spread Fascism
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'Alt-Right' Trolls Weaponized Irony to Spread Fascism

By jazz_music following x   2018 Feb 9, 12:30pm 1,721 views   183 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


This is the new ugliness.

[May 23, 2017] Earlier this month, hundreds of so-called alt-right protesters occupied the rotunda at Boston Common in the name of free speech. The protest included far-right grouplets old and new, from the Oath Keepers to the Proud Boys. But there were no swastikas or shaved heads in sight.

Instead, the protest imagery was dominated by ostensibly comedic images, mostly cribbed from forums and social media. It looked a little like an animated version of a favorite “alt-right” message board, 4chan.

At least one attendee was dressed as the cartoon frog Pepe (a character co-opted by the movement against the wishes of its creator). Others carried the flag of “Kekistan," the imaginary country created by 4chan members. Kyle Chapman, the man who became the “based stick man” meme after attacking anti-fascists armed with a gas mask and a Captain America shield, also addressed the crowd. The same crowd later confronted a counter anti-fascist protest in the street.

Until recently, it would have been hard to imagine the combination of street violence meeting internet memes. But experts say that the “alt-right” have stormed mainstream consciousness by weaponizing irony, and by using humour and ambiguity as tactics to wrong-foot their opponents.

Last week, the Data & Society Institute released a report 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.

Marwick points to another guide to the “alt-right”, published last on Andrew Anglin’s prominent Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, which credited “troll culture” with bringing about “non-ironic Nazism masquerading as ironic Nazism”: It also allows individuals to push boundaries in public, and to back away when they meet resistance. When Richard Spencer led a fascist salute to Donald Trump at his National Policy Insitute conference in the wake of Trump’s win, he said it was done in “a spirit of irony and exuberance”.


A compounding difficulty for opponents of the “alt-right” is that online, it’s always been difficult to tell the difference between sincerity and satire.

Ryan Milner teaches Communication at the College of Charleston, and is the co-author of a new book called The Ambivalent Internet. The book ponders the implications of Poe’s law, an internet adage that points to the difficulties of online communication and of distinguishing extremist views from parodies.

“Unless you have an obvious marker of another person’s intent, you can’t really gauge their intent. They could be messing around. They could be deadly serious. They could be a mix of both,” Milner says.

But ironic, playful content can have effects in real life. Milner offers the example of Edgar Welch, who turned up at Comet Ping Pong Pizza in Washington DC with a gun after imbibing too deeply of the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory. The theory was ginned up by forum trolls and amplified by fringe rightwing media. It asserted, on the basis of some of John Podesta’s leaked emails, that the restaurant was the hub of an elite pedophile ring.

Last December, Welch drove to Washington from North Carolina with three firearms. When he arrived, he texted a friend: “Raiding a pedo ring, possible sacrificing the lives of a few for the lives of many.” He fired shots inside the restaurant, but fortunately was arrested without harming anyone.

“A lot of the people propagating the Pizzagate conspiracy were doing it winkingly. But in the moment that somebody walked into that shop with a gun, then that playful buzzing participation around that conspiracy turned into real consequences,” Milner says.

More generally, every “ironic” repetition of far-right ideals contributes to a climate in which racism, misogyny, or Islamophobia is normalised.

“Every time you see a viral video of somebody shouting down a person of Muslim descent in a supermarket line, what you’re seeing are the effects of an environment where it’s increasingly normal, increasingly accepted and expected to speak in this register, whether or not that started out as a joke,” Milner says.

Author Alexander Reid Ross agrees that irony has been deployed by the far right in chipping away at whatever prohibitions have existed around publicly adopting far-right politics. His book, Against the Fascist Creep, published late last year, explores the long history of fascists attempting to mainstream their ideas, or even sell them to the left.

“Fascism is more or less a social taboo. It’s unacceptable in modern society,” Ross says. “Humour or irony is one of the ways that they can put forward their affective positions without having to fall back on any affirmative ideological positions.”

He adds: “They’re putting forward the anger, the sense of betrayal, the need for revenge, the resentment, the violence. They’re putting forward the male fantasies, the desire for a national community and a sense of unity and a rejection of Muslims. They’re doing all of that, but they’re not stating it.”

The best response is to stubbornly take the “alt-right” at their word. Angela Nagle’s book about the “alt-right”, Kill All Normies, will be released next month. She says that for the “alt-right”, online irony “is a mechanism for undermining the confidence of their critics”.

“The thing that people have to realize is that it isn’t that complicated. We know what they believe in, and if you say that you’re ‘alt-right’, presumably you believe in those things too.”

Rather than getting lost in the weeds of a fast-moving internet culture, we should be bearing down hard on those core beliefs.

“Journalists should be saying, ‘I don’t want to talk about Pepe memes and hand signs. Tell me what are the limits of what you’re prepared to do’. We should force them to talk about what they really stand for,” Nagle says.

In future, the best step may be to meet irony with sincerity.

https://twitter.com/JackSmithIV/status/863413631261736960
https://twitter.com/andrewmcgill/status/800823669500936192
https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/alt-right-covert-fascism

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144   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 13, 7:41pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (2)     quote      

Yeah yeah its never difficult to figure EXACTLY what people are dying to hear and then tell it to them.

SPOT ON

That particular ATTACK is as good as Trump's fingerprint, the pitchman who sold the presidency.

Tenpoundbass says
I'll make no apologies for sticking by my country, because the Democrats are not the good guys anymore. They are the Commie invaders trying to drown the America that was built by my ancestors.

Ohhhh commie invaders LOL LOL LOL you should go in the corner and make out with Strategist. And
You want to deliver America to the most powerful buyers, which donate to the GOP propaganda empire, own the big corps that finance the never ending wars

... but you want THAT HORSE SHIT to look like a victory for working America LOL LOL LOL LOUDER!!!

So okay that is what you are getting paid to say.
145   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 13, 7:51pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

mell says
People denouncing the left they once grew up with and embraced, because it gave way to a

Yeah MAYBE

But really they have to blame themselves for all being too distracted to take control of their own governments and now they are finding out that other people, WITH THE MONEY TO CORRUPT REPRESENTATIVES, own their governments AND WILL NOT LET LOOSE

RIGHT WING POLITICS ALWAYS CONSOLIDATES POWER AND REWARDS THE POWERFUL but they have enough money to pay milquetoasts like Hannity, Alex Jones, etc., etc.,to tell you 24/7 nation wide that they are the key to everything you are dying to have if it weren't for those lazy addicts, immigrants, minorities, just keep looking away from the assholes with the monster net worth.

All the other countries saw that this hustle works pretty good.
146   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 13, 8:18pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

jazz_music says
So okay that is what you are getting paid to say.

How come I don't get paid, while he does. This is so unfair.

jazz_music says
But really they have to blame themselves for all being too distracted to take control of their own governments and now they are finding out that other people, WITH THE MONEY TO CORRUPT REPRESENTATIVES, own their governments AND WILL NOT LET LOOSE

RIGHT WING POLITICS ALWAYS CONSOLIDATES POWER AND REWARDS THE POWERFUL but they have enough money to pay milquetoasts like Hannity, Alex Jones, etc., etc.,to tell you 24/7 nation wide that they are the key to everything you are dying to have if it weren't for those lazy addicts, immigrants, minorities, just keep looking away from the assholes with the monster net worth.


Amazing. So why did the Right Wing let Obama win twice?
147   Patrick   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 13, 8:20pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

jazz_music says
go in the corner and make out with Strategist


Sorry, gotta delete that as a personal attack, it's not any kind of argument about the point being made.
148   Onvacation   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 6:24am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

jazz_music says

Fear, jealousy, hate, bigotry, greed, they are all

Symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
149   anon_5611d   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 6:49am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Comments 24, 39, 40 and 101 aren't personal attacks and or talking about the other user/commenter ?
150   Onvacation   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 7:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

jazz_music says

There are lots of countries that have to deal with suicide bombings, for example, that have nothing to do with Islam

Where?
151   Onvacation   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 7:09am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

jazz_music says
just keep looking away from the assholes with the monster net worth.

Pelosi? Or are you talking about the Clintons?

Rich people should SERVE in government. Nobody should get rich "representing" the people.
152   BlueSardine   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 7:23am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

The British fought for the continental United States and they didn't get it
The Germans fought for complete control of France they did not get it
The Libby's fought for a Supreme Court Justice when it was their turn they didn't get it
You're declaration below is nothing but fake news.
jazz_music says
YOU GET WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR
153   anon_5611d   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 8:08am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Comments 24, 39, 40, 101 and 153 aren't personal attacks and or talking about the other user/commenter ?
154   Patrick   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 8:09am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Yes, (the former) comment 153 was personal and I deleted it, but I don't really see an attack in those others.
155   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 12:46pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Onvacation says
Symptoms of Trunp Derangement Syndrome.

That reminds me that since the rise of Trump it is now cool to spread racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc., all those dog whistles he blows to believers which is surely a sickness befallen our nation dividing up the power of the electorate to assure no effective challenges to monied interests as they ever tighter put the squeeze on us and continually modify terms of employment to the advantage of investors.

My TDS is sickness of him telling so many lies that no one seems to be able to keep up or care about what truth is any more and yes I am sooooo sick of this shit and nothing he has done comes to any good in the end. How can it? His M.O. is to tell us whatever it takes to hope we worship him and then turn around and cave in to everything GOP was drooling over all along.
156   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 12:49pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

I'm so glad SJWs are getting pushback.

The rampant fatal DWIs powered by Illegals is finally getting play.

The Media got set up to push illegals, while the Dems bashed working class whites and held up illegals as wonderful people. Durbin's mouth ran wild the other day. Kicking themselves in the ass.

It's no longer allowed among cool people to bash Whites and Males incessantly.
.
In their desperation to screech moral indignation at somebody, SJWs now have to milk Transgendered Bathrooms and berate White Women
157   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 12:50pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

BlueSardine says
You're declaration below is nothing but fake news.

Ha. It's the TRUEST thing anybody could ever possibly say.

Let me draw you a picture: NO ONE GOING TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING FOR NOTHING

If the people SHOW the vulnerability to be swindled, they WILL BE SWINDLED. Fake NEWS! --such a useful dismissal when you are a total fake!

Hahahahahahahahaa precious!
158   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 12:52pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

jazz_music says
NO ONE GOING TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING FOR NOTHING


DACA receipients got free childcare, SNAP, reduced tuition as non-citizens, and many other free things.
159   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 3:07pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Onvacation says
jazz_music says

There are lots of countries that have to deal with suicide bombings, for example, that have nothing to do with Islam

Where?

Enter this type of text into a search engine and read about it for weeks

"non religious suicide bombings"
160   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 3:18pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

I remember in Cuba some NON RELIGIOUS people were so hopeless they would set off explosive vests after getting in the middle of a group of policemen JUST TO GIVE THEIR LIFE TO TAKE OUT A FEW OF THEM.

You can't beat that kind of determination no matter what you do.

That's what kind of hatred hopelessness brings. That, and less extreme versions of that, is what the democrats are doing when they cook up some social programs for the poor.

BUT NONE OF THAT SHIT COMES EVEN CLOSE TO THE GROSS EXTRACTION OF VALUE PERFORMED ON OUR ECONOMY OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS: that required the careful coordination of corruption and the government to provide legal cover while the propaganda, like Fox, gets us all to look the other way.

I can't believe this knowledge seems to be so scarce among you.

Islam has its mythologies for sure but basically what we are seeing a global temper tantrum against America's unbridled imperialism. You may think that we provide "foreign aid" to third world countries, oh gentle soul, we provide the kleptocrats wealth, the nations and their infrastructures, get put into debt they can't pay and then our businesses leverage that against the nations. All this is backed by the implied threat of military actions if they were to somehow become "unfriendly."

The pricks are coming after our infrastructure now the same way they capture the infrastructures of foreign nations ... they are wicked good at pulling off these tricks and they found all we will do is bitch and go back to work. We are divided against ourselves and totally vulnerable to unlimited expansion of the extraction of all value. The stock market will soar during this process too whoopie!!!
161   anon_5611d   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 3:51pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

http://patrick.net/post/1277846/2015-02-09-about
There is one main rule. Violating it will get your comment deleted.

Don't talk about the other users

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments 24, 39, 40, 101 and 153 aren't talking about the other user/commenter ?
162   anon_4460e   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 4:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Ever realize that all these "Super hero" movies might be more propaganda to get you to feel like everything is going to turn out alright and that being UNABLE TO HELP YOURSELF is really not an issue if you just go with the flow?

I guess not because these fucking despicable shit fantasies are actually getting to be more popular every day it seems and MOTHERFUCKING SLAVES are getting so stupid that they find this shit entertaining as long as there's CGI and some fake fighting to drool over.

OMG what a country and what a people!
163   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 4:40pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

jazz_music says
Onvacation says
jazz_music says

There are lots of countries that have to deal with suicide bombings, for example, that have nothing to do with Islam

Where?

Enter this type of text into a search engine and read about it for weeks

"non religious suicide bombings"

Nonsense. Only Muslims and someone who goes insane are capable of being suicide bombers.

jazz_music says
I remember in Cuba some NON RELIGIOUS people were so hopeless they would set off explosive vests after getting in the middle of a group of policemen JUST TO GIVE THEIR LIFE TO TAKE OUT A FEW OF THEM.

Must be really bad in Commie Cuba.
164   anon_313db   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 4:49pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Strategist says
Nonsense. Only Muslims and someone who goes insane are capable of being suicide bombers.


Soviets turned german shepherds into suicide bombers to go after german tanks. Japanese kamikazed themselves into enemy ships.
165   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 4:53pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

anon_313db says
Strategist says
Nonsense. Only Muslims and someone who goes insane are capable of being suicide bombers.


Soviets turned german shepherds into suicide bombers to go after german tanks. Japanese kamikazed themselves into enemy ships.


They did not target women and children like the fucking cowardly Islamic suicide bombers.
Islam is the only religion that endorses baby killing though suicide bombers.
166   anon_313db   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 4:57pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Strategist says
They did not target women and children like the fucking cowardly Islamic suicide bombers.
Islam is the only religion that endorses baby killing though suicide bombers.


I would be ok to socially or biologically engineer alterations to human genome to eliminate susceptibility to propaganda.
167   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 4:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Strategist says
They did not target women and children like the fucking cowardly Islamic suicide bombers.


Big difference between training dogs saddled with explosives to run under Panzers staffed by soldiers on a battlefield, and suicide bombing a concert of teen girls or running over pedestrians.
168   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 5:14pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

That's what you'd say if you only use search engines to find more memes to pollute the internet
169   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 5:19pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

TwoScoopsPlissken says
Strategist says
They did not target women and children like the fucking cowardly Islamic suicide bombers.


Big difference between training dogs saddled with explosives to run under Panzers staffed by soldiers on a battlefield, and suicide bombing a concert of teen girls or running over pedestrians.


Foolish Muslim apologists who hate America don't see that. Their hate for the world's greatest country clouds their thinking.
170   anon_4460e   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 6:20pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

anon_313db says
engineer alterations to human genome to eliminate susceptibility to propaganda.

In the meantime we get a society led off to the slaughter, financial conquest, mass incarceration of non-investors.
172   Tenpoundbass   ignore (6)   2018 Feb 14, 6:26pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Thomas Sowell setting those stupid ass crackers straight.

173   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 6:28pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

anon_4460e says
In the meantime we get a society led off to the slaughter, financial conquest, mass incarceration of non-investors.


174   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 6:32pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

When someone hates you so bad that they will give their own life just to take yours and some others like you

... that's what you call a coward?

This seems to be so uniform in practice that it looks like propaganda FOR AN EFFECT.

Compare to those 10 BRAVE cops with their thermal scopes and night vision wearing bullet proof armor that crash into homes on no knock raids shooting and killing where there are kids to make sure no cops get hurt.

Such heroics!
175   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 14, 6:56pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)     quote      

Strategist says
What do you call him....Santa Claus?

Call him whatever you like.

Someone call the cops please.
176   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 7:13pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

jazz_music says
When someone hates you so bad that they will give their own life just to take yours and some others like you

... that's what you call a coward?

Yes. A coward, a wacko, a fanatic, and a murderer. What do you call him....Santa Claus?

jazz_music says
Compare to those 10 BRAVE cops with their thermal scopes and night vision wearing bullet proof armor that crash into homes on no knock raids shooting and killing where there are kids to make sure no cops get hurt.

Yeah, they are brave. Risking their lives so that the rest of us can be safe from scumbag criminals.
Oh, so if there are kids around, cops should not protect themselves, and just commit suicide.

177   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 7:18pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Hey @Patrick something strange. I posted #176 before #175.
178   Patrick   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 14, 7:28pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

I can't explain it.
179   mell   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 14, 8:16pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

It goes into comment moderation likely and reposts after being approved, but now with a later sequence number.
180   Onvacation   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 15, 7:17am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

jazz_music says
"non religious suicide bombings"

Not much of that going on.
181   Onvacation   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 15, 7:20am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

jazz_music says

BUT NONE OF THAT SHIT COMES EVEN CLOSE TO THE GROSS EXTRACTION OF VALUE PERFORMED ON OUR ECONOMY OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS:

Like where the Clintons made half a billion servicing the public?
182   Onvacation   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 15, 7:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

jazz_music says

Islam has its mythologies for sure but basically what we are seeing a global temper tantrum against America's unbridled imperialism.

You do know that islam was trying to conquer the world BEFORE Columbus sailed the ocean blue? Don't ya?
183   errc   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 15, 8:16am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Strategist says
jazz_music says
PEOPLE COULD UNITE to mobilize against the oppression and successfully achieve reforms by activism, BUT OUR Facism paints OUR democracy as hopeless and divides people up into bitter civil war so that the only hope is for some glorious leader to emerge, and he has, and for a short while hold on to fanatical faith of the people until he gets power to change that hold into fear. (which is a more certain hold since the state holds the monopoly on violence)

Where is the oppression? I don't see any of it. I wish someone would oppress my rights, so that I could sue them and finally get rich.

jazz_music says
BECAUSE TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER THAN ALL THESE SICK ASSED, GREEDY ASSHOLES THAT CONTROL US!

The only people who need controlling are criminals. They are the ones oppressing the r...


Coastal California mid aged white guys in 7 figures homes don’t see oppression? How is this even possible?

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