Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Feeding Hate With Video: A Former Alt-Right YouTuber Explains His Methods

From what I can tell, the Alt-Right has more or less fractured into multiple directions. Charlottesville was more or less their Altamont. Some Alt-Rightists have become Trumpists. Others have associated themselves with the conventional white supremacist milieu, and others have moved into the outer fringes (like National-Bolshevism).  It seems that socialist/communist fetishism has now eclipsed both libertarianism and the Alt-Right as the prevailing trend in “extremism,” largely due to the popularity of Bernie Sanders, who seems to have been the Ron Paul of the Left. Also, “left-wing extremism” is more compatible with prevailing economic, cultural, demographic, technological, educational, and generational trends.

By Cade Metz, New York Times

In 2018, a far-right activist, Tommy Robinson, posted a video to YouTube claiming he had been attacked by an African migrant in Rome.

The thumbnail image and eight-word title promoting the video indicated Mr. Robinson was assaulted by a Black man outside a train station. Then, in the video, Mr. Robinson punched the man in the jaw, dropping him to the ground.

The video was viewed more than 2.8 million times, and it prompted news stories across the right-wing tabloids in Britain, where Mr. Robinson was rapidly gaining notoriety for his anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic views.

For Caolan Robertson — a filmmaker who worked for Mr. Robinson and helped create the video — it was an instructional moment. It showed the key ingredients needed to attract attention on YouTube and other social media services.

The video played into anti-immigrant sentiments in Britain and across Europe. It also focused squarely on conflict, cutting rapidly between shouts and shoves before showing Mr. Robinson’s punch. It also misrepresented what had actually happened.


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