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In An Ugly Election Result, Hate Surges Online as Trump Emboldens Extremists

| November 27, 2016

A demonstrator at a protest of the Trump election on Nov. 9 in Chicago. (Bob Simpson)

A demonstrator at a protest of the Trump election on Nov. 9 in Chicago. (Bob Simpson)

Over the past month, more than 564,000 unique visitors have spent time on the Daily Stormer, a website that takes its name from a Hitler-era German tabloid, “Der Stürmer.” The site bills itself as “America’s #1 Most Trusted Republican News Source” and features headlines like “Jew Billionaires Meet to Overthrow Trump Government,” “Faggots and Jews Whining About Bannon Appointment,” and “Yes, Trump Really Can Make America White Again.”


Throughout Donald J. Trump’s ultimately successful run for the presidency, many worried that he had, willfully or recklessly, emboldened racists across the country. On Tuesday, Trump told the New York Times that had not been his intent.

“It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why,” Trump told the Times. He said he wasn’t sure what impact, if any, previous Republican campaigns had had in fomenting extremists, and thus if his impact had been distinctive. “I don’t know where they were four years ago, and where they were for Romney and McCain and all of the other people that ran, so I just don’t know, I had nothing to compare it to.”

Some who track the behavior and public profiles of racists in America, however, say Trump’s effect has been unmistakable. [In Palm Coast last week, two kindergarten students attending Imagine School at Town Center came home with swastikas drawn on their skins. The boy who drew the swastikas was a middle school student. On Nov. 22, Flagler County School Board member Colleen Conklin addressed the issue in a broader contest in a column and at a school board meeting.] According to Alexa, a company that tracks web metrics, a range of white supremacist and so-called Alt-Right websites have seen surges in traffic across the last year. Those sites include Radix Journal, Virginia Dare, Red Ice, American Renaissance, and The Right Stuff, according to Alexa.

Most of the racist online publications still have relatively modest readerships, attracting between 100,000 and 300,000 unique visitors per month, far less than the typical daily newspaper in a small American city. But all have seen rapid growth. And many sites, among them Red Ice, which has advanced the idea that “the United States of America was built by white people for white people” and American Renaissance, which derides African Americans and Latinos as low-IQ losers, have seen their traffic more than double over the past year.

But Daily Stormer seems to have seen the most dramatic spike in readership. In a recent post, Daily Stormer claimed that since the election the site “has had an added 30% traffic.” Over the past month the site has had nearly 10 million page views.

“Daily Stormer is a website run by Andrew Anglin, who is a neo-Nazi,” said Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “Andrew Anglin has actively encouraged trolls to harass Jews and others online. He is still encouraging trolls to harass people.”

Anglin did not respond to a request for comment.

Researchers at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, have watched as Anglin’s site has eclipsed older white supremacist sites since its founding in 2013.

For years, said the SPLC’s Ryan Lenz, the “go-to racist site” was Stormfront, a discussion forum started by ex-Klansman Don Black back in the 1990s, which had long served as the nexus of extreme right conversation on the web.

But Stormfront’s traffic has been surpassed by that of the Daily Stormer.

The success of the Daily Stormer, which features an abundance of crude humor and plenty of shareable memes and graphics, represents “a passing of the baton” from one generation of racists to the next, said Lenz who edits SPLC’s Hatewatch.

Of course, white supremacists are also making use of existing social media platforms and web forums, including Reddit, which features a robust Alt-Right subreddit that has also seen a spike in traffic this month, pulling in more than 80,000 unique visitors so far in November.

In Segal’s view, social media, along with heavily-trafficked forums like Reddit and the troll-haven 4chan, “are much more significant” tools for the rising white supremacist movement than avowedly racist web outposts like Daily Stormer and its ilk. Video clips, speeches and interviews featuring Alt-Right figures and white supremacists are also proliferating on YouTube, where some are drawing sizable audiences.

“The [white racist] sites aren’t insignificant but they’re not the whole picture,” Segal said.

In October the ADL issued a report documenting epidemic levels of anti-Semitic harassment on Twitter, much of it aimed at journalists covering the presidential campaign. “We found 2.6 million tweets using language commonly used by anti-Semites,” noted Segal. After coming under heavy criticism for tolerating a culture of abuse, Twitter has taken some steps to curb harassment and recently banned a handful of racist figures, including Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer.

In his remarks to the Times, Trump pledged to take his own steps to counteract any rising racism.

“What we do want to do is we want to bring the country together, because the country is very, very divided,” he said. “It’s very, very divided, and I’m going to work very hard to bring the country together.”

Moving quickly on that work would be welcomed by many.

Segal said he has tracked a disturbing pattern over the past several weeks. “What we were seeing in terms of harassment online we’re now seeing on the ground” in the form of hate crimes in the physical world, he said. “It’s not surprising: We’re coming out of a very divisive election where white supremacists felt emboldened by the public discussion. They feel like they have a champion in the highest office.”

–A.C. Thompson and Ken Schwencke, ProPublica

FlaglerLive is joining ProPublica to cover hate crimes in the coming months – who commits them, where they happen, who should be tracking them. Readers with tips or other information please contact reporter A.C. Thompson at A.C.Thompson@propublica.org or FlaglerLive at editor@flaglerlive.com

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29 Responses for “In An Ugly Election Result, Hate Surges Online as Trump Emboldens Extremists”

  1. Veteran says:

    Everything wrong used to be Bush’s fault. Now it’s all Trumps fault. And nothing is Obama’s fault. Unreal!

  2. Lin says:

    As a former news junkie, I’ll ask this question
    “Is it possible for a news outlet that hates a candidate, that considers anyone that supports the candidate an enemy — is it possible for that outlet whether print, tv, online, to be at all fair and impartial and give all the news without unfair edits?”

    After Hillary’s debate performance with Bernie when she counted Republicans as her enemy, it was like lightbulb went in in my brain already on overload of media so-called expert opinions about the candidates.
    The media, most of them anyway, had an agenda and anything goes to get their candidate elected even to demonizing all the deplorable bigoted misogynist xenophobes some of which are my friends. When the media covers a movement such as occupy Wall Street, BLM and not-my-president and neglects to mention how it arose, who funds them and the goals and tactics, it disgusts me and I pull back further from the “media”.

    We all know the %age of media that supports liberal causes, contributes to campaigns and pacs. They have slanted the news, attacked unfairly candidates and even worse attacked supporters and edited coverage to reflect their biased view.

    It is ironic when I see article after article, sound bite after sound bite and comments here citing as sources obviously slanted like the Clinton news network as facts to prove their arguments. I believe only what I see. I know what the Liberal administration did, what happened to our world and our country and I am no longer a news junkie. I don’t care so much what the talking heads opinion is of what they heard. And liberals are not the only biased media.

    If only people would stop allowing the media to put them in baskets and stop allowing the media to use them to put each other in baskets, we could all just start being Americans working towards the same goals to make America strong for all of us. Although I didn’t vote for Obama, I have written that I had some hope for his hope and change being good for America. It didn’t work out in any respect in my opinion but this new President deserves much better as well as the 1/2 of the country that voted for him. Insults and division only gets more of the same.

    More music, less news for me.

  3. Ken Dodge says:

    Riots didn’t break out because Trump got elected; Trump got elected because there were riots.

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    What I would like to know is when will society take accountability for it’s own actions?

    We blame Bush, Hillary, Obama and now Trump. We blame the economy and we blame everything else under the sun when things don’t go right. The list could go on but you get the point.

    The fact of the matter is the world is full of ass hats. There are people who will bully, beat, rob and kill you for no other reason than just being a mean individual.

    There comes a point in ones life when you learn right from wrong. At a certain age you become accountable for your actions.

    If you decide to live a lifestyle other than a productive caring member of society that is YOUR choice. And you should own up to it and face the consequences.

    Stop deflecting the blame..

  5. daveT says:

    From what I have seen and witnessed on the national news, the talk shows the news papers the online news blogs, the media is full of hate and it appears lives to cause confrontation. Maybe these media outlets are nothing more than some radical mass collective group driven to cause chaos in some wacko plot by some foreign country (s) to cause unrest in the US government by fueling hate, bigotry and racism. It seems be working.

  6. Brian Riehle says:

    So why is Flaglerlive publishing these website links to sites most of us have never heard of before. ? Lots of drama and emotion but not really news. I’m guessing these sites have been around forever.
    Reminds me of Steve Allen years ago who did a skit on his TV show where he’d read the irate letters to the Editor of the New York Post and emotionally scream out the words while pounding his fist on the desk. It started out humorous and after awhile became ridiculous.

  7. Makeitso1701 says:

    I’ll bet that a good percentage of the spike in the Daily Stormer readership and other outlets like that is from the racist chumpsters from right here in good ol’ Flagler county.

  8. Layla says:

    The only hate as well as death threats I am seeing is coming from the LEFT.

  9. tulip says:

    Hillary certainly contributed to some of the hate with her spews about how Trump is a racist, bigot, islmadism, etc. And as the campaign wore on and she wasn’t doing well, it got worse. The media also contributed to it and the Clinton campaign paid a professional to get rioters and protestors to taunt Trump supporters. Obama and Biden were almost as bad.

    There are too many whiny hateful people around that just have to cause trouble and don’t give a rat’s tail about the country or its resident;s well being.

    . Hitlerism and all that stuff has been around many decades and perhaps if Hillary had been elected protestors would have gathered and chanted “lock her up” and constantly spewed things about her lies, cheating, poor judgement, bigotry,etc. We have what we have for a president-elect, I think cooperation and giving Trump a fair chance will improve our country far more than hateful blogs.

  10. Andy says:

    I know, right? Remember when Killary suggested that if Trump won, there might be a “2nd amendment solution”?
    Oh.. whoops, that was Donny suggesting assasination, my bad

  11. Dave says:

    It’s bigger than trump, you are witnessing a global takeover, divide and conquer, that is whats happening, unfortunately as a society we are unable to love each other blindly, but fully capable of hating eachother easily

  12. Makeitso1701 says:

    Just remember,Hitler was adored by many who blindly and ignorantly thought he would give them what they thought they wanted. Just as trump is touting “Make America White Again……oops I mean Great Again.
    Yes, Hillary would have been a much better choice, Michelle Obama in 2020!!!!!!

  13. Capt. Deployable says:

    As a DEPLOYABLE , I have but one thing to say to the left:

    ———————–YOU LOSE———————-

  14. Auggie says:

    It been a TAD easier for me to handle, as or the last 7 months,my App through GOOGLE allwas me, to see THIS:—Throughout some rich asshole’s ultimately successful run for the presidency, many worried that he had, willfully or recklessly, emboldened racists across the country. On Tuesday, the rich asshole told the New York Times that had not been his intent. :) And that, like it or not is the simple truth as far as name calling is, in reality, to me ;)

  15. AL says:

    Andy, you are indeed “bad”. Sharron Angle, Republican politician from Nevada, suggested the second amendment. solution.

    Tulip, that story about a protester getting paid $3500 was a fabrication.

    Some of you Trump supporters need to find some real news, instead reading and believing fake news.

    http://www.snopes.com/donald-trump-protester-speaks-out/

  16. RickG says:

    Once again the Rs do what they do best…. Projection.

  17. Knightwatch says:

    Trump has reawakened the vile racist subculture in America. He has made white anger and resentment into a political movement. This country has taken a two hundred-year step backward.

    Trump voters can deny what is happening, but they cannot deny their own motivations. You are what you vote for.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Never another Obama. …..NEVER!!!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Trump will make this country great again. Watch and see! Michelle is done, as is her husband.

  20. Edith Campins says:

    Republicans keep blaming the media. The media only reported the offensive, degrading things that Trump said about virtually every group of Americans. His appointment of Bannon as a chief startegist says more about hate than any protestors.
    The irony of having Republicans sugges that now we should all get together and support Trump after having done exactly the opposite when President Obama got elected. You reap what you sow.

    Lastly, it seems to me that is Trump supporters that are inflicting violence on others, writing racist messages on people’s doors and it certainly it wans’t a democrat who called the fist lady “an ape in heels”, was it?

  21. rst says:

    Well said Dave…

  22. Marlee says:

    Remember? …..Some of the president-elect’s quotes:

    1. “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”

    2. “Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again – just watch. He can do much better!”
    3. “Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”
    4. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

    5. “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

    6. “I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
    7. “Look at that face!” said of former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
    8.”If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
    9. “Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
    10. “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” Republican Presidential Debate,
    11. What I won’t do is take in two hundred thousand Syrians who could be ISIS”

  23. Mark says:

    Yes, hillary hasn’t tried to quell any of the hate filled demonstrations around America. she and obama don’t incite hate at all. The media continues it’s biased reporting, no surprise here.

  24. Anonymous says:

    He won Get over it!!!

  25. brian says:

    the fact is that white america is tired of having diversity shoved down our throats as well as tired of the obama regime!!!

  26. Geezer says:

    Cognitive Dissonance

    cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance

    The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to
    behavioral decisions and attitude change.

    The ill-conceived concept of “making America great again,” by allowing one’s mind to embrace
    the election of a pompous, orange pompadour, billionaire tax cheat who claims everything will
    be beautiful after he’s elected. Symptoms include an unyielding desire for strudel, jackboots,
    and vivid sexual dreams of Josef Mengele.

  27. YankeeExPat says:

    Amendment XXV

    PRESIDENTIAL DISABILITY AND SUCCESSION
    Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967. The 25th Amendment changed a portion of Article II, Section 1

    SECTION 1

    In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

    SECTION 2

    Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

    SECTION 3

    Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

    SECTION 4

    Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

    Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

  28. beachcomberT says:

    So if people dislike the growing popularity of far-right websites, what’s the solution? Censorship? Government-controlled Internet? Stifling or outlawing opinion doesn’t eliminate it — it drives it underground and if anything makes it even more extreme and gives credence to even more outlandish conspiracy theories. In time, I think Trump will learn to tone down his Tweets. That’s why I’m glad Jared and Ivanka will be close by, nudging Trump away from his Don Rickles act. We have to remember that many business executives fail to curb their tongue, but they are shielded by legions of PR agents so the public seldom hears them railing against minorities, Jews, gays and immigrants. Trump is restrained compared to some of them. Go back in history and read about Henry Ford’s notorious anti-Semitism, now politely forgotten because of the good works of the Ford Foundation.

  29. Katie Semore says:

    @beachcomberT I suppose the GOP will just ignore that Trump is breaking the anti- nepotism law if he appoints either an offspring of his or a son/daughter-in-law to a prominent position in his administration. It is clearly against that law for him to appoint a close family member to a position over which he has authority. But so long as the GOP is in charge in the Congress, it gives him the privilege of breaking the law and getting away with it. What has happened to the Party of Lincoln and Reagan? This a a sad state of affairs over which no real Conservative or Republican should be proud of.

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