As Twitter cracks down on Islamist extremism, a study released by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, has found that White nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathizers located mostly in the United States operate Twitter with “relative impunity”.
The report found that on Twitter, ISIS’s preferred social platform, American white nationalist movements have seen their followers grow by more than 600% since 2012.
Today, they outperform ISIS in nearly every social metric, from follower counts to tweets per day.
The most popular theme among white nationalists on Twitter was the concept of “white genocide,” the notion that the “white race” is directly endangered by the increasing diversity of society.
White supremacist social media activists tweeted hundreds of times per day using repetitive hashtags and slogans associated with this trope.
Of no surprise, white nationalists and nazis were heavily invested in Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency, with #Trump2016 in the top 10 hashtags used by white nationalists, however, was outdone by the number one hashtag #whitegenocide which was highly used by both nazi sympathisers and white nationalists.
Unlike Isis though white nationalist accounts suffered relatively little suspension pressure.
Three white nationalist accounts and four Nazi accounts were observed to be suspended during the course of data collection, and a handful of additional accounts were seen to be suspended in the days that followed.
Around 1,100 ISIS accounts were suspended during and immediately after collection
It’s important to remember that both groups are extremely dangerous and are known for violent crimes.
According to a 2014 FBI report in Amercia, 66% of racially motivated attacks were anti-black based, 21% anti-white based and 13% other and that’s only the reported data from 10% of US agencies.
When asked about the report a Twitter spokesman referred to the company’s terms of service, which prohibit promoting terrorism, threatening abuse and “hateful conduct” such as attacking or threatening a person on the basis of race or ethnicity.
The trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
In the meantime remember hate is hate, no matter where it comes from and the world should be protected from it all – no matter the origin.
We are better than this.