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How the White Supremacists Punked the Tea Party and Republicans…

And created little monsters like Dylann Root.

This is a great article discussing how the white supremacist type flood the web with lessons learned from a site called 4CHAN.

 

Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism

To understand Dylann Roof’s thinking, he tells us, we have to go back to 2012. To Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, the moment that Roof writes in his manifesto that he was reborn as a white nationalist. Roof’s inspirations are clear in a way that his psychology is not. They go back further than the Martin case into centuries of American history and, along another path, less clearly marked, to the peak years of a now widespread Internet culture, when a new kind of reactionary sensibility was hatched.

A reactionary, defiantly anti-social politics has been emerging for the last decade. It was well known under the auspices of “trolling” and well hidden by its pretense of trickstersism. It was actually juvenile fascism and vitriolic racism but, because it grinned and operated in cyberspace, it was a sensation when it first appeared less than a decade ago. Excitable theorists, bored journalists and naive political activists looked at its strange, adolescent face and pronounced on its revolutionary potential.

According to the accepted wisdom, trolls were fiercely apolitical pranksters up until they put on Guy Fawkes masks and became the radical progressives known as “Anonymous.” But Anonymous doesn’t have a monopoly on trolling’s political legacy. They are only its nominally left-wing manifestation. Something else has been growing in the online ferment they came out of—something that Anonymous and its supporters want to disown—a politics that is temperamentally of the right, not quite coherent, though Anonymous isn’t always either, but unified by certain passions, a conspiratorial bigotry and anti-black racism above all.

This is another legacy of 4chan, the infamous online message board that spawned trolling culture. It is a different branch of politics than the hackitivism associated with Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, but its roots are the same. While Anonymous has gotten most of the attention, the trolls they left behind on 4chan have seen their influence spread as well, though without a catch-all name or striking avatar to easily refer to them. You can see this other side of trolling’s inheritance spreading on popular sites like Reddit and in the widespread adoption of the rhetorical style they developed: using bombast and absurdism to hide racist tropes in conceptual riddles.

If Roof was not directly shaped by that Internet culture, he nonetheless moved in the world it helped create.

We know that Dylann Roof had a history of taking drugs and that friends say he had expressed interest in committing a mass shooting, but little else about his psychological state leading up to his massacre. We know from what he told the woman he left alive to explain what he’d done, since he apparently intended to kill himself, and from his manifesto that he believed he had no choice but to murder defenseless black people—he specified defenseless; he wanted a slaughter, not a fight—in service to his white nationalist ideology. And we know where the ideas in Dylann Roof’s manifesto first appeared: almost verbatim on a neo-fascist website inspired by 4chan’s politics.

Back to Trayvon Martin. If there is a single event that sparked the current period of social unrest, the national controversy around race and policing, and the largest protest movement of President Obama’s second term, it is the night in February 2012 when a mixed-race Florida man, alarmed by the presence of an unarmed black teenager in his community, confronted and killed him after a struggle.

The fault line exposed by the killing of Martin is still sending out aftershocks. It inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and its more radical offshoots, including a group that named itself after Martin, despite objections from his family, and became notorious after leading a chant calling for “Dead cops” in New York.

The Martin case, and the mainstream media’s handling of it—marred by bothcasual slanders of Martin and outright distortions about Zimmerman—reverberated in the Internet’s ideological echo chambers, the former inspiring the nascent protest movement that reemerged in Ferguson, the latter inspiring a right-wing counter-movement online.

A story that had started on Twitter before it was picked up by news continued to spread on the populist Internet.

The racial and political divisions revealed by perceptions of Martin’s death and the media’s handling of it attracted activists to the cause. Some organized protests. One anonymous Internet user hacked Martin’s email and social media accounts and posted the results online in an effort to depict him as a thug and drug user, and justify his shooting death. The hacker, who went by the name Klanklannon, posted an edited, slideshow version of the messages stolen from Martin’s accounts. Klanklannon, as the name suggested, was a white supremacist, and a member of 4chan’s political message board, “/pol/,” which is where the hacks were first posted.

“The event that truly awakened me,” Dylann Roof wrote before walking into a church in South Carolina and killing nine of the black parishioners who had invited him into their Bible study group, “was the Trayvon Martin case.”

It’s not all that far from the mainstream of American discourse to the places where Roof dwelled online, but the distances get skewed by perspective.

The organized political groups that inspired Roof, like the Council of Conservative Citizens, have, while courting influence, been considered disreputable for decades. That’s a far cry from the kind of ambivalent, if not adulatory treatment, offered to the avatars of 4chan’s bleeding-edge web culture, who were fêted by academics and journalists even as their much pondered trolling cleared out a space online for a new breed of fascist websites, like the one Roof appears to have visited online.

There’s something immediately familiar about The Daily Stormer, where whole passages from Roof’s manifesto first appeared. Its name is taken from Hitler’s paper of record, the Nazi propaganda organ Der Stürmer. The site owes as much, perhaps more, to the style and mode of political rhetoric developed on the 4chan message board as it does to any tract published by the KKK or American Nazi party. (…the nitty gritty here…)

Now – there is a way to fight this – and I will get more into that over the next few weeks (hopefully). Some people have already started using the trolling method to counter, making most conservative sites even quicker on the trigger to ban liberal folks than usual. You also have to be prepared to be persistent, as in many places where there are racist types working the board – you will get a slew of complaints instantly from the trolling group to try and knock you off almost immediately, for even mild deviance from the racist mantra being spewed. They truly hate it when you blow up one of their racist memes with facts.

Step 1 always is to understand the problem.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Paid Political Bloggers Exposed

This has been going on in the blogsphere for quite a while.  Especially over on the Republican side, who first recognized the value of Internet political entertainment. The fact that the Democrats organized and fought back isn’t any surprise.

Several of your favorite black conservative bloggers, especially the ones who fill the Internet with vitrol are paid to do so.

BTx3 is not and has never been paid to blog anything. The only advertising on my blog is that imposed by the provider,  and that required to get certain widgets free.

Blogging Payola

Of course, looking at what the Republicans are paying for so few eyeballs… I maybe got some space on the right (and left) columns!

True stories of bloggers who secretly feed on partisan cash

Katie Couric once described bloggers as journalists who gnaw at new information “like piranhas in a pool.” But increasingly, many bloggers are also secretly feeding on cash from political campaigns, in a form of partisan payola that erases the line between journalism and paid endorsement.

“It’s standard operating procedure” to pay bloggers for favorable coverage, says one Republican campaign operative. A GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that “at least half the bloggers that are out there” on the Republican side “are getting remuneration in some way beyond ad sales.”

In California, where former eBay executive Meg Whitman beat businessman Steve Poizner in a bitterly fought primary battle in the campaign for governor, it sometimes seemed as if there was a bidding war for bloggers.

One pro-Poizner blogger, Aaron Park, was discovered to be a paid consultant to the Poizner campaign while writing for Red County, a conservative blog about California politics. Red County founder Chip Hanlon threw Park off the site upon discovering his affiliation, which had not been disclosed.

Poizner’s campaign was shocked to learn of the arrangement, apparently coordinated by an off-the-reservation consultant. For Park, though, it was business as usual. In November 2009, for instance, he approached the campaign of another California office-seeker — Chuck DeVore, who was then running for Senate — with an offer to blog for money.

“I can be retained at a quite reasonable rate or for ‘projects,’” Park wrote in an e-mail to campaign officials. In an interview, Park defended himself by claiming, “nobody has any doubt which candidates I’m supporting,” and noting that his blog specifies which candidates he “endorses.”

But while Red County’s Hanlon expressed outrage at Park’s pay-for-blogging scheme, questions arose about his own editorial independence when it emerged that Red County itself had been taking money from the Whitman campaign.

In December of 2009, Red County received $20,000 from the Meg Whitman campaign, which has sent the site $15,000 a month since then.

The money is ostensibly for advertising, yet by conventional measures the numbers don’t add up. According to Quantcast, Red County reaches around 125,000 unique viewers per month. Two new media industry experts confirmed that, given such a readership, Whitman’s ad purchase is “ridiculously” expensive, surpassing the going market rate for such ads by 1,000 percent or more.

In an interview, Hanlon said he had a “very, very direct conversation” with the Whitman campaign that “advertising and editorial are two very different things.” Notably, Whitman’s penchant for throwing money around is well known in California political circles.

Ad purchases at above market rates are a common means by which some campaigns seek to influence bloggers, according to numerous campaign operatives and bloggers.

Bloggers, aware of this, have begun to request improbably high rates on their own.

Florida political blog Shark-Tank.net, which reaches about 15,000 viewers per month, is asking campaigns for $3,200 a month for a large banner ad. For that same price, an advertiser could purchase similar space on political blogs reaching over 1 million readers each week. (more)

 

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