The Fracturing of the Alt right: Conflicting Online Discourses of White Nationalist Communities



Stalker, Kira

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This thesis describes the philosophy, recruitment methods, and intellectual activities of the alt right, a predominantly online culture based on notions of white supremacy and patriarchy. Cyberculture, cyber harassment, right-wing extremist language, dissemination methods, meme culture, and political satire as a form of countercultural protest are key components explored in this study. The ethnographic focus is on three websites: American Renaissance, the Daily Stormer, and Reddit’s most popular Donald Trump supporter subreddit. Data on these sites was collected by navigating and using the sites in a form of digital ethnographic observation. This thesis argues that the differences and similarities between the websites are integral to understanding a movement that is profoundly anti-Semitic, racist, and misogynistic, with the power to incite violent activities. This thesis also analyzes the key difference between different factions of the alt right, specifically the pseudo-intellectual, the profanely humorous, and the politically motivated. This thesis argues that the dissent amongst alt right factions strengthens the alt right by creating more diverse alt right arguments and appealing to a wider audience but also weakens it by diversifying the previously unshakable solidarity of alt right thought.



White nationalism, Racism online, Alt right, Digital communities, Internet extremism, Digital activism