Although white nationalism is far from a new ideology, today’s racist activists have been adept at using social networks to expand their reach and radicalize a new generation of young white men and women. They have worked under a veil of irony and trolling explicitly designed to create uncertainty in the mainstream public about how serious they are. That effort has been extremely successful.
Facebook and Instagram only banned content advocating white nationalism, like “The US should be a white-only nation,” four months ago. Previously, the company suggested in a post announcing the ban, it had considered white nationalism or white separatism valid political viewpoints, and had believed in the arguments, rejected by experts, that “white nationalism” was not necessarily racist.
“There is so much material on the web – treatises, tracts, and manifestos – that would have been extraordinarily difficult to get hold of 25 years ago,” said Brian Levin, the director for the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
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