i explained the concept of far right radicalization online to my dad today and honestly, it was clarifying
picture a lonely frustrated teenage boy of 15 searching for why he can’t get a girlfriend. he winds up on a men’s rights site, joins the forums.
they’re already talking about how feminists are evil, women are bitches. someone comes around and starts shopping a little more “non politically correct” knowledge— white supremacy.
he checks it out. maybe he’s not too into it at first but gets sold on “owning the libs.”
it’s a feeling of community, a channel for resentment. reasons for why he feels lonely and bad (jews, minorities, feminists).
it seems fun, transgressive. yelling at black women, feminist writers, all from behind comfortable anonymity. provoking a reaction, sometimes bewilderment and frustration.
and of course gathering for gleeful debriefings afterwards in private groups or anonymous boards.
it gets ugly sometimes. maybe weird or gross. but by now the enemy is defined and he’s crossed so many lines.
by the time he’s 16, he spends tons of time doxxing and harassing women and activists he wouldn’t have even thought about a few months ago. it’s a game until it isn’t.
no one can pinpoint a moment when it solidifies into a belief system. when resentment and loneliness calcify into hate. radicalization is slow and involves offering as much succor and company as it does offering targets.
it’s happening all over the country - the world, really. every day. it’s never been easier to find hate. or get immediate gratification for it.
that’s why we have to fight it at its roots - online. on social media platforms and sites. what happens online is real and it matters. fighting hate matters too.
for more info on how misogyny is intertwined with white supremacy online check out this excellent ADL report: