November 25, 2018

Ctrl Alt-Right Delete Turns Two!

By Melissa Ryan

CARD officially hits the terrible twos this week. Two years ago the first edition went out to 231 people. Today’s newsletter will land in 15,210 inboxes. What was initially a way to keep friends and colleagues up to date on all things far right internet has grown into one of the largest resources on extremism and online toxicity available online.

This year we joined forces with HOPE not hate to offer original research in addition to my own curation and analysis. HOPE not hate’s Simon Murdoch has a piece below outlining some highlights of their work over this period, but I’ve loved working together and bringing readers original research, much of which debuted exclusively here.

The past two years have been exhausting for all of us. What I’ve tried to do here is help folks make sense of it all. Cut through the noise and make sure that CARD readers were equipped with the most essential information, research, and analysis. I’ve always known that this would be helpful for political operatives and activists but I’m still gobsmacked at how many people in different sectors read CARD and see it as a resource that helps them do their work. Our readers include academic researchers, national security professionals, foreign policy experts, technologists, and reporters just to name a few.

I spent some time with the data this week. Here are the top ten most opened subject lines of 2018.

10. Cernovich’d
9. All the cards are losers
8. Charlottesville
7. Nazis go to jail
6. Is it Russia?
5. Circus
4. Complicit-ish
3. thank u, next
2. American breakdown
1. Tommy Boy

Honorable mention goes to #11, a personal favorite of mine, “Tucker’s White Genocide Fetish.”

This year CARD readers clicked 27,238 times on 1,152 links. Here are the top ten ICYMI articles you clicked on:

10. Virginia politicians of all stripes condemn white nationalists — except one (Washington Post)
9. When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life (Gizmodo)
8. Propaganda-spewing Russian trolls act differently online from regular people (The Conversation
7. 10 things you and your grassroots organization can do to improve your digital security (Organizing for America)
 6. Why We’re Sharing 3 Million Russian Troll Tweets (FiveThirtyEight)
5. Diamond and Silk’s Facebook censorship claim is a hoax (ThinkProgress)
4. Welcome To YouTube ‘Bloodsports,’ The Alt-Right’s Newest Recruiting Tool (Right Wing Watch)
3. Russian Trolls Used This One Weird Trick To Infiltrate Our Democracy. You’ll Never Believe Where They Learned It. (Huffington Post)
2. How the President and Neo-Nazis Work Hand in Hand (The Progressive)
1. #TrollTracker: How To Spot Russian Trolls (Digital Forensics Research Lab)

I want to thank you for reading whether you’ve been with CARD from the beginning or just signed on this week. It’s an honor to have space in your already crowded inbox. Editing this newsletter has brought me so much joy over the past two years, but meeting and talking with readers remains my favorite part of the experience. I’ve met you online, in DC, at conferences, and even a wedding. You’ve asked questions, challenged my assumptions, and offered your own expertise. Every conversation has made the newsletter that much better.

I’m especially grateful for how much readers have spread the word about CARD. Email forwards remain the primary driver of new subscriptions. Thank you for recommending CARD to your professional networks, friends, and even family. Fun fact: several readers are subscribed thanks to a referral from their adult children or siblings. I know of at least one family where three generations are reading. (Shout out to my own cousins who are readers as well!)

As I’m writing this Gavin McInnes has just released a YouTube video disassociating himself from the Proud Boys and Twitter has suspended Laura Loomer. They join a growing list of deplatformed Frog Squad celebrities this newsletter has outlasted including Alex Jones, Milo, Andrew Anglin, and Paul Nehlen. Democrats won big on Election Day, Unite the Right part deux was an embarrassment and British far-right extremist Stephen Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson wasn’t allowed to enter the US. We haven’t won the war but it’s amazing just how much progress we’ve made since November 2016. Here’s to another year of fighting the Frog Squad and another year of victories large and small!

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