Alt_Right White Lite: Trolling, Hate Speech and Cyber Racism on Social Media

Andrew Henry Jakubowicz

Abstract


The rapid growth of race hate speech on the Internet seems to have overwhelmed the capacity of states, corporations or civil society to limit its spread and impact. Yet by understanding how the political economy of the Internet facilitates racism it is possible to chart strategies that might push back on its negative social effects. Only by involving the state, economy and civil society at both the global level, and locally, can such a process begin to develop an effective ‘civilising’ dynamic. However neo-liberalism and democratic license may find such an exercise ultimately overwhelmingly challenging, especially if the fundamental logical drivers that underpin the business model of the Internet cannot be transformed. This article charts the most recent rise and confusion of the Internet under the impact of the Alt-Right and other racist groups, focusing on an Australian example that demonstrates the way in which a group could manipulate the contradictions of the Internet with some success. Using an analytical model developed to understand the political economy and sociology of mass media power in the later stages of modernity, before the Internet, the author offers a series of proposals on how to address racism on the Internet.

Keywords


Internet, cyber racism, antisemitism, Australia, regulation, state, economy, civil society, social movements, trolls, Alt-Right, trolling

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ccs.v9i3.5655