Linguistic data analysis of 3 billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger
Taxonomy of Trolls
Date Written: 18/08/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21317
The alt-right isn't one group. They don't have one coherent identity. Rather, they're a loose collection of people from disparate backgrounds who would never normally interact: bored teenagers, gamers, men's rights activists, conspiracy theorists and, yes, white nationalists and neo-Nazis. But thanks to the internet, theyre beginning to form a cohesive group identity.
For a long time, these people would have very limited reason to interact with one another. There wasnt much in common between meme aficionados, gamers, sexists, conspiracy theorists, and racists. Because the very nature of Reddit is to subdivide and find your own specific corner of the internet, these communities didnt tend to run into each other all that much. But thats now changed.
Over the last year and a half, these types of trolls have formed a central identity around Trumpism and have started to coalesce. Bored teenagers and gamers are becoming indoctrinated into hard-line anti-globalism, conspiracy theories, and Islamophobia, and its happening right before our eyes, on a publicly accessible forum.
The_Donald and other alt-right spaces are acting as meeting places for disaffected white men from all walks of life to share a communal hatred. They start out in different corners of the internet with different interests and different lexicons. They remain separate when theyre outside of The_Donald, but the more time they spend in there, the more pernicious views of the world they are likely to pick up by osmosis. They are forming a coherent group identity, represented in the language they have begun to speak, which coalesces around their common hatred of liberalism and their love of Donald Trump.
Were witnessing the radicalization of young white men through the medium of frog memes. In order to see it, all you need to do is look at the words coming out of their mouths. The alt-right isnt yet united, but it soon will be.