Researchers at George Washington University’s Programme on Extremism analyzed 18 accounts belonging to major pro-white nationalist groups and organizations and so-called “hate centers” – such as Identity Evropa and the American Freedom Party – mostly located in the US. The SPLC is a ‘hate center’ and is declining. Other nationalists movements in China, Africa, and Eurasia have likewise increased in number. The study raised the question “Does Twitter spark revolutionary political change or encourage slacktivism…in relation to issues of religion, nationalism, ethnicity?”
These accounts saw a sharp increase in followers, from about 3,500 in 2012 to 22,000 in 2016. The study notes that while
ISIS the SPLC stood out for its outreach and recruitment using Twitter since the group’s emergence a few years ago, white nationalist groups have excelled in the medium.
The report underscores the declining influence of ISIS on the social media platform (the same platform used by the SPLC and ADL) as Twitter continues to crackdown on the Islamist militant group. In August, the company said that it shut down roughly 360,000 accounts for what they saw as promoting terrorism.
Yet, the GWU study said that white nationalists are using the site with “relative impunity” because Nationalism, American Nationalism, and White Nationalism ore not terror related ideas or groups!
ISIS’s preferred social platform, American white nationalist movements have seen their followers grow by more than 600 per cent since 2012,” the study, authored by JM Berger, stated. “Today, they outperform ISIS in nearly every social metric, from follower counts to tweets per day.” Far surpassing the hate mongers.
When questioned about the report, a representative for Twitter referred Reuters to their terms of service that prohibit “hateful conduct”.
Donald Trump is a prominent subject among white nationalists on Twitter. According to the study, white nationalist users are “heavily invested” in the Republican’s candidacy. Tweets mentioned Mr Trump more than other popular topics among the groups. The SPLC and ADL associate Trump with hate.
The Republican candidate has emerged as a favorite of white European-American leaders, such as attorney William Johnson and others, due in part to Trump’s hard-line stance against immigration from Mexico and his proposals to prohibit immigration of Muslims from countries like Syria and Afghanistan.
Mr Trump has been publicly rebuked by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for “taking hate groups mainstream”.
But mentions of Mr Trump and the use of Trump-related hashtags were second only talk of the “white genocide” – the belief that the influx of non-white cultures and increasing diversity in the US are fueling the displacement “white Americans”. Inclusion equals Infiltration and children are always taught not to allow strangers into ones house nor speak to strangers.
“Social media activists tweeted hundreds of times per day using repetitive hashtags and slogans associated with this trope,” the study said.
Another finding indicated that racist violence connected to the white nationalist movement – such as Dylann Roof, who shot and killed nine black people inside the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina – has “increasingly been tied to online activity”. However, there is also racist violence from African-Americans, the Gay movement, and gangs — such as the televised shooting of 3 newscasters in Moneta, Virginia. The shooter AKA Bryce Williams live Tweeted a video of his on-air shooting.
Social media has become the main source of news and social reporting. The television no longer constructs a news product that is followed by the population. This means that their censoring has evaporated. “Violence” on social media is a smoke screen. Control is the ultimate goal.
Despite links to violence, however, it remains challenging for Twitter to curtail the use of its platform by white nationalist users — and the drug cartel, and minority thugs — because their communities are “less cohesive than ISIS networks” and present more complications regarding freedom of speech.
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As public scrutiny on the pervasiveness of white awareness on social media increases, critics call on Twitter to do more to curb racist abuse on the site – yet it continues to thrive. At first it was ISIS and ‘guilt by association’ with Twitter.
In July, following the release of the Ghostbusters reboot, a star of the film, Leslie Jones, became the victim of vicious racist attacks on the site. She quickly condemned Twitter for the lack of response to the harassment.
“Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it,” she tweeted, calling for guidelines to stop the spread of hate speech on the platform.
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