The Ugliness of Trolls: Comparing the Methodologies of the Alt-Right and the Ku Klux Klan

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Nathan Eckstrand


The alt-right claims it responsibly advocates for its positions while the Ku Klux Klan was “ad-hoc.” This allows them to accept the philosophy of white nationalism while rejecting comparisons with prior white nationalist organizations. I confront this by comparing the methodologies of alt-right trolls and the KKK. After studying each movement’s genesis in pranks done for amusement, I demonstrate that each uses threats to police behavior, encourages comradery around ethnic heritage, and manipulates politics to exclude voices from public deliberation. Differences between alt-right trolls and the KKK originate in the technologies they use, not out of a concern for responsible advocacy.

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