screen shot of a hate page

How online hate infiltrates social media and politics

In late February, the headline of a news commentary website that receives more than 2.8 million monthly visitors announced, “Jews Destroy Another One of Their Own Graveyards to Blame Trump.” The story, inspired by the recent desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, was the seething fantasy of an anti-Semitic website known as the Daily Stormer. With only a headline, this site can achieve something no hate group could have accomplished 20 years ago: It can connect with a massive audience.

To whom, and how many, this latest conspiracy may travel is, in part, the story of “fake news,” the phenomenon in which biased propaganda is disseminated as if it were objective journalism in an attempt to corrupt public opinion. My recent book on digital hate culture, “Fanaticism, Racism, and Rage Online,” explores the online underworld from which many of those false narratives originate. I investigate the lesser-known source of all this hate-laced “news” simmering in our public debates, helping to cultivate a distorted reality for its ardent believers and a fractured polity for the rest of us.

Read the full article by Adam G. Klein at The Conversation.