The empowered alt-right trolls have created a cesspit on Twitter

The empowered alt-right trolls have created a cesspit on Twitter

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An American visitor walks past a cartoon of a Mexican wrapped in a taco sticking his tongue out at a depiction of President-elect Donald Trump.An American visitor walks past a cartoon of a Mexican wrapped in a taco sticking his tongue out at a depiction of President-elect Donald Trump.
Image: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
2016%2f09%2f16%2f9c%2fhttpsd2mhye01h4nj2n.cloudfront.netmediazgkymde1lzaz.ce8caBy Colin Daileda2016-11-14 11:00:00 UTC

"Dear Liberals: This is Now the Era of Revenge."

So begins a Nov. 9 article on the alt-right, neo-Nazi, "pro-genocide" website, The Daily Stormer, an internet gathering point for many racists and anti-Semites who are massive fans of President-elect Donald Trump.

The alt-right — a loosely-defined group of right-wingers who traffic in online harassment and hate memes — was already a virulent online force before Americans cast their ballots on Tuesday. Now that their candidate has been elected president, they've made it clear they're not about to recede from Twitter back to the dark corners of the internet from whence they came.

Quite the opposite, it seems.

Andrew Anglin, who founded The Daily Stormer, makes it his business to launch online harassment campaigns. His website undoubtedly contributed to the harassment of Jewish journalists online throughout the campaign, and he's already directing his energy into new efforts likely to turn a few stomachs.

"Election night is in the rear-view, and after a day of celebration we need to keep moving forward," he wrote following the election. "It’s time to consolidate our gains and trigger Jews and leftists using one of the easiest and most effective means at our disposal – a Twitter campaign."

Anglin's first message was to get #TrumpEffect trending. His mission is to highlight posts about white people harassing and attacking non-white people across the U.S and to unleash the trolls on them. Using the hashtag, he called out journalist and activist Shaun King, who has been compiling and decrying such incidents. By attaching a hashtag to King's work, he hoped to co-opt it, allowing the racist hordes that follow his website to laugh and take pride in the trauma of others.

In an article published on the same day, he also encouraged trolling of anyone who posted social media messages about feeling scared after Trump's victory. His message, after rounding up dozens of tweets, was to "troll these people and definitely get some of them to kill themselves."

And Anglin is far from the only alt-righter trying to embolden hate online.

Paul Joseph Watson, the editor-at-large of conspiracy-theorist website InfoWars, who has a Twitter following of 345,000 users, advocated for mass-murder in the aftermath of the election.

Donald Trump is going to gas disabled people. pic.twitter.com/3zIagypXgK

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 11, 2016

Good. I have one right here. https://t.co/r9qAGjSIYK https://t.co/DfTUX23ne4

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 11, 2016

Mike Cernovich, a Trump-supporting men's rights activist who traffics in conspiracy theories, has used his 160,000 Twitter followers to advocate for the elimination of the White House press corps.

Disband the White House Press Corps. No more fake news! https://t.co/eJKPEJWD1D

— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) November 11, 2016

Replace the White House Press Corps with the people. Live stream from Trump House. Citizens ask questions. Go direct to the people!

— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) November 11, 2016

Another popular Trump supporter and avid Twitter user, Bill Mitchell, has used his post-election platform to belittle those protesting Trump.

Typical snowflake protester: "I sit around smoking pot all day living off government handouts but it's Trump's fault my life sucks."

— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) November 11, 2016

I look at these #Hillriots and I can't help but wonder who is serving coffee at Starbucks?

— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) November 11, 2016

Twitter has not responded to a Mashable request for comment about dealing with emboldened hate speech online as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office.

The 286,000-member Trump subreddit /r/The_Donald is also central as the alt-right movement grows strength online. Not satisfied with Trump winning the election, it has now turned its attention to France, where they hope to help propel far-right xenophobic politician Marine Le Pen to the presidency. Their call to action includes poking fun at current French President Francois Hollande, translating many current memes into French and swapping images of Trump for images of Le Pen. They even plan to adopt some of the most infamous slogans from the U.S. campaign, such as "Hillary for prison."

To anyone unfamiliar with these groups and websites, all this might seem ridiculous. Who cares if a right-winger with decent Photoshop skills can piece together an image of Le Pen looking patriotic next to a French flag, or something? But the alt-right has proven to be a potent force for harassment.

Anti-Semitic Twitter users have targeted Jewish reporters and media they believe (or say) are "controlled" by Jewish people. They identify their targets by placing parentheses around their names meant to connote some kind of dark, scary echo chamber.

When your (((elite class))) is so decadent they don't even realize how they look to normal people. https://t.co/S9tlK3uYdc

— TheRightStuff (@ThaRightStuff) October 21, 2016

They turned the omnipresent meme of a green frog named Pepe into a hate symbol by tagging the frog with swastikas, then spreading it across a slew of social media networks.

And their numbers have grown for years. "Major American white nationalist movements on Twitter" have swelled by 22,000 followers since 2012, an uptick of 600%, according to a recent study of white nationalists on Twitter by a researcher at George Washington University. The same study notes that these users are often "organized" and devoted to their own brand of "social media activism." A favorite topic of these social media-savvy white nationalists, aside from neo-Nazism, is Donald Trump. They love him. And they are empowered like never before.

This isn't going away.

Topics: alt right, andrew anglin, anti-semitic, Donald Trump, harassment, nazi, neo-nazi, racist, Social Media, the daily stormer, Twitter

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