Hawley, George. Making Sense Of The Alt-Right. Columbia University Press, 2019.
This book by Columbia University political scientist George Hawley sheds light on the newest iteration of far-right extremism in the U.S. – the alt-right. Young and tech-savvy, members of the alt-right exist primarily in a digital space. The movement began, gained traction, and flourished predominantly online, and served an important roll in Trump’s election by stoking the flames of racist and xenophobic hatred online. The book approaches the alt-right from a myriad of angles; first situating the alt-right as a movement distinct from traditional conservatism, white nationalism, and libertarianism; and later describing the online affordances that allowed the alt-right to grow exponentially, namely anonymity and minimal online moderation. This text will help me contextualize, characterize, and categorize modern far-right discourse online.
Herman, Lise Esther., and James Muldoon. Trumping the Mainstream: the Conquest of Democratic Politics by the Populist Radical Right. Routledge, 2019.
This book’s first chapter, “the mainstreaming of far-right extremism online and how to counter it,” will prove very useful in understanding the proliferation of fringe groups online, such as the once tiny but now massive “redpill” and “incel” communities. This book details the process by which these fringe groups recruited countless new members through mainstream social media sites like 4chan and Reddit. This book also provides indispensable tools and strategies for combatting far-right proliferation online, namely by deplatforming White nationalists. Without prescriptions for change, my research paper would be rather bleak and imply that we have no agency to change the current state of affairs online.
Keen, Ellie, and Mara Georgescu. Bookmarks – A Manual for Combating Hate Speech Online through Human Rights Education. Edited by Rui Gomes, Council of Europe, 2014.
This document, compiled by the Eurpean Union’s Council of Europe as part of the “No Hate Speech Movement,” provides an essential counterexample to U.S. conceptions of “protected” speech. In the E.U., the link between hate speech and terrorism is legally codified, as “words of hate can lead to real-life crimes of hate, and such crimes have already ruined and taken the lives of too many people”. This guide is made in part by and certainly for European youth who are concerned with the rapid spread of racism and xenophobia in response to the migrant crisis. The guidebook gives examples of activities that could be performed in a classroom to teach students how to have civil debates online, and how to spot bigotry. One module describes a wave of attacks on Muslims in the made-up town “Sleepyville,” spurred by anti-Muslim groups online in response to the construction of a new mosque. By using extremely relevant scenarios, the guide hopes to teach students how to properly respond to bigotry online. I plan to use this to provide practical examples of anti-hate speech education.
Klein, Adam. Fanaticism, Racism, and Rage Online Corrupting the Digital Sphere. Springer International Publishing, 2018.
This book holistically examines the culture of hate online, describing everything from fringe forums to popular mainstream outlets of bigotry that intermingle with popular culture on widely-used platforms. It provides a unique perspective on both aspects of extremism, detailing the links between hate on the surface web and the deep web. It shows how the democratization of internet access lead to a global resurgence in hate groups, and points to educational initiatives and organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against online radicalism. This book will serve as a fantastic general resource that looks more broadly at the history of hate movements online and offers varied advice regarding the hindering of these movements.
Koppel, Ted, Don Black, and Floyd Abrams. Hate and the Internet. Princeton, NJ: Films for the
This dateline ABC segment from 1999 features Don Black, the creator of Stormfront, the prominent online destination for White nationalists around the world. It also features a first amendment attorney who had worked for clients like The New York Times and ABC News. The two guests talk with ABC’s Ted Koppel about freedom of speech online and the impossibility of limiting hate speech under current law. The dateline episode is notable because, in the current political climate, mere references to White nationalism are often seen as politically charged, and current mainstream networks typically avoid the subject altogether. This resource will be central to the discussion of hate communities in the early internet, as well the analysis of unchanging hate speech laws in the United States.
Simpson, Patricia Anne, and Helga Druxes. Digital Media Strategies of the Far Right in Europe and the United States. Lexington Books, 2015.
This book answers the important question, “how”? How did fringe extremist groups in the 90’s become central to American and European discourse online? How did these groups attract so many new members so quickly? How do they radicalize these members and establish such fervent communities? The book attempts to answer many of these questions by looking at the kinds of media shared within far-right spaces online, including music, manifestos, and violent diatribes against immigrants and LBGT people. With this book, I will be able to look into the tactics of the far right, gaining a better understanding of their community-building tactics, and becoming more aware of the points of entry into the far-right sphere online, which will hopefully point to potential areas of reform
Wojcieszak, Magdalena. “Cyber Racism: White Supremacy Online and the New Attack on Civil Rights.” Sociological Inquiry, vol. 80, no. 1, 2010, pp. 150–152. JSTOR, doi:10.1111/j.1475-682x.2009.00320.x.
This book offers a completely different take on racism online by using a handful of teenagers as a test group and exposing them to “cloaked” racist sights online – websites designed to appear as civil rights publications on the surface but become increasingly racist as the reader descends into them. It attempts to debunk the idea that the internet is a recruiting tool for racists, instead suggesting that, if teenagers can’t make sense of racist dogwhistling, they will not enter these spaces online. I see this as a rather reductive analysis and hope to offer a counter example by analyzing how teens become accustomed to White supremacist ideas and symbols over time through constant exposure.