February 8, 2019

Hating, Dating and Procreating

By Ctrl Alt-Right Delete

Everything you need to know about the launch of Turning Point UK

by Simon Murdoch

This week saw the launch of the UK branch of Turning Point, the US student organization ostensibly focused on educating and organizing students to support “fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government”, but whose members “keep getting outed as racists or fans of prominent neo-Nazis”, as the Miami New Times Jerry Iannelli noted last year in one such revelation.

As I highlighted in this newsletter in December, HOPE not hate knew Turning Point had its sights set on the UK. What we didn’t anticipate is just how amusing their launch would be. In a exclusive exposé, we uncovered the bizarre, pro-Trump, gun-toting, King Arthur-obsessed Scientologist who brought Turning Point to the UK (not before he literally mailed Trump a sword, I kid you not). We think you’ll enjoy this one a lot.

Read the full article here. (You’ll be glad you did!)


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Facebook Turns Fifteen

By Melissa Ryan

Monday was Facebook’s 15th anniversary. To celebrate, take another look at just how many ways they’ve failed their users over the years. Alex Kaplan and I first compiled the exhaustive list for Media Matters in October and have since updated it a few times. Every time I revisit the post I’m shocked all over again by the sheer volume of screw ups, and how little they seem to matter to users.

Facebook continues to be a cesspool. They finally got around to removing 22 more Facebook pages associated with Alex Jones this week but a hoax about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg still spread like wildfire thanks to sharing in private Facebook groups. They’ve also recently blocked external ad transparency tools that allowed users to see how and why they were being targeted for political and commercial ads.

Despite all of this Facebook’s profits and revenue continue to climb. Most of us still have Facebook accounts that we use to keep up with our friends and family, even though we know we shouldn’t trust the company with any of our personal information. I’ve come around to the idea that Facebook is a monopoly that needs to be broken up for the good of democracy. Germany took steps in that direction this week when it’s antitrust office ruled that Facebook is “abusing its virtual monopoly in social media by combining data from Instagram, WhatsApp and third party websites.” It would be great to see the U.S. and other countries follow suit.

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Hating, Dating and Procreating: Online Dating and the Alt-Right

by David Lawrence

A Valentine’s Day treat for you. We’re rerunning one of our most popular articles from last year outlining how lonely racists are turning to dating apps to find love in a movement defined by hate. Enjoy!

The racist alt-right is, crucially, a movement seeking esteem and status for resentful white men who believe they have been sidelined in modern society.

The loose movement holds extreme, toxic and profoundly maladjusted attitudes to gender roles. A central uniting belief in the alt-right is that feminism has led women to selfishly prioritise their own autonomy over their duties to the family, neglecting their biological desire to become the “trad wives” (traditional spouses) of “alpha males”. Whilst a handful of figures (such as Jack Donovan) advocate rejecting all female contact and embracing of male-only enclaves, most in the alt-right see the establishment of “traditional” relationships and the subordination of women in the private sphere, where they can focus on increasing the white birth rate, as central to the restoration of white male pride.

Such jaundiced views are presumably key to explaining the dearth of women in the movement; alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer has estimated that women constitute just one-fifth of the movement’s followers (even despite his reported claims that women secretly desire alt-right boyfriends due to their “alpha sperm”). There appears to be some truth in the longstanding joke on the popular message board 4chan – which has been key in the development of the alt-right – that its users are lonely man-children dwelling in their mother’s basements.

Read the full article here.


Research/Projects

  • New research from Brendan Nyhan and colleagues suggests that fears about fake news were overhyped. “Relatively few people consumed this form of content directly during the 2016 campaign, and even fewer did so before the 2018 election. Fake news consumption is concentrated among a narrow subset of Americans with the most conservative news diets. And, most notably, no credible evidence exists that exposure to fake news changed the outcome of the 2016 election.”

ICYMI


Coda

That’s all for this week. See you next Sunday!