The Daily Stormer
Type of site
|News and commentary|
|Slogan(s)||First in Facts - First in Integrity!|
|Alexa rank||19,314 (Global December 4, 2016)|
|Registration||Required to comment|
|Launched||July 4, 2013|
The Daily Stormer is an American neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary website. It is part of the alt-right movement, and calls itself "America's #1 Most-Trusted Republican News Source". Its editor is Andrew Anglin, who founded it on July 4, 2013, as a faster-paced replacement for his previous website Total Fascism.
The site has been noted for its use of humor and Internet memes, which have been likened to the imageboard 4chan and cited as attractions for a younger and more ideologically diverse audience. Guest writers have included black hat hacker weev and 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan. While some white nationalist authors have praised The Daily Stormer's reach, others have taken issue with its content and tone, accusing the Anglin of being an agent provocateur, used to discredit true white nationalism.
The Daily Stormer orchestrates what it calls the "Troll Army", which is involved in Internet trolling of figures with whom Anglin disagrees politically.
Anglin told media and technology company Vocativ that he was liberal as a youth, and as a teenager he read works by Noam Chomsky and "all that Communist, Jewish stuff". He later studied Buddhism, Islam and 20th-century French philosophers before aligning himself with Neo-Nazism. In 2014, he stated that although he agreed with the central tenets of Nazism, he had reservations over reintroducing all aspects of Adolf Hitler's regime.
In 2012, he launched his first blog, Total Fascism. Feeling that it was not appealing to a younger demographic and had articles that were too long, Anglin launched The Daily Stormer on July 4, 2013, with shorter articles and a more provocative style. The website, named for the Nazi Party's newspaper Der Stürmer, is registered in the name of Anglin's father Greg, who runs a Christian-inspired counseling service in Worthington, Ohio. Anglin said in March 2014 he spends 70 hours a week writing for the website, which is primarily funded through donations which he solicits regularly from site visitors.
Content and reception
Anglin asserts that the purpose of The Daily Stormer is to provide "a means to propagandize people … to get them to look at the world in a certain way". Headlines include "All Intelligent People in History Disliked Jews" and "Adolf Hitler: The Most Lied About Man of All Time". According to The Jewish Chronicle, The Daily Stormer "posts hundreds of racist articles targeting black people, Muslims and Jews". The website offers pro-separatist coverage of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, which Anglin considers "the correct moral position". The SPLC described the site as "the newest up and comer in the heated competition to rule the hate web", which "has in the last six months [up to March 2015] often topped the oldest and largest hate site on the web, Stormfront, in terms of reach and page views, based on Alexa data". Anglin claimed in May 2016 that the website's traffic had doubled over the last six months, peaking at 120,000 daily visitors. The website is part of the alt-right movement, and calls itself "The World’s Most Visited Alt-Right Website". As the movement made headlines in mid-2016, "bolstered in part by the unexpected rise of Donald Trump and Britain's decision to leave the European Union", Anglin declared "We won the meme war; now we've taken over the GOP, and we did this very, very quickly." Unlike other figures such as Breitbart News journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, Anglin does not play down the extremist elements in the alt-right, stating that "The goal is to ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government. Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated".
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) stated that The Daily Stormer owed its success to the online imageboard 4chan becoming popular among racists, as both websites use similar memes and rhetorical styles. One meme the website has used is to overlay photographs of Taylor Swift with anti-Semitic quotations, including those by Hitler. The website puts triple parentheses around the names of Jews, a far-right meme created by fellow website The Right Stuff. Jacob Siegel of The Daily Beast wrote that the website was growing in popularity amongst a younger audience due to its use of humor, and was attracting activists of other anti-political correctness ideologies—such as Gamergaters, men's rights activists and opponents of Social Justice Warriors—who would not usually identify with fascism. The SPLC has also documented Anglin's involvement in and encouragement of culture jamming by making hyperbolic statements in fake online accounts as women and minorities. He has also said that "ridiculous" statements such as "gas the kikes", if repeated in media coverage, can work to desensitize the public to the Holocaust. He also believes that his extreme right-wing rhetoric can normalize less extreme right-wingers such as Trump. In late 2015, during protests chiefly by African Americans at the University of Missouri, Anglin began a hoax of a campus Ku Klux Klan rally and claimed victory when the rumor spread.
Hacker and Internet troll weev wrote an article on the website after his release from prison, espousing his recent conversion to Neo-Nazism and his opposition to Jews who had "abused our compassion to build an empire of wickedness the likes the world has never seen". Fredrick Brennan, founder of the online community 8chan, wrote an article on The Daily Stormer encouraging eugenics, based on his own experiences of having brittle bone disease. Florida-based Jewish troll Joshua Ryne Goldberg, who encouraged an Islamist attack on a free speech exhibition in Garland, Texas, under the alias of a religious extremist, wrote white supremacist articles for The Daily Stormer under the pseudonym Michael Slay.
The Daily Stormer attracted media coverage when the SPLC stated that white supremacist spree killer Dylann Roof—who on June 17, 2015, shot nine African Americans to death in the Charleston church shooting—may have made several comments on the site. The SPLC found similarities between one user's comments and Roof's manifesto. The Daily Beast stated that Anglin "repudiated Roof's crime and publicly disavowed violence, while endorsing many of Roof's views". In October of that year, Anglin gave a positive reaction to an attempted assassination on Henriette Reker, a pro-immigration candidate to be mayor of the German city of Cologne, decrying her as a "feminist hag".
Support for Donald Trump
Anglin officially endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2015 after the candidate said that many illegal immigrants from Mexico were criminals and rapists. Anglin encouraged the website's readers to "vote for the first time in our lives for the one man who actually represents our interests". The website also received national and international coverage for its endorsement of Trump's proposal of a temporary moratorium on admitting foreign Muslims into the country; it proclaimed "Heil Donald Trump – The Ultimate Savior". According to the SPLC, white supemacist endorsement of Trump is unprecedented, as the movement is generally skeptical of all politicians. In July 2016, Andrew Anglin and The Daily Stormer were mentioned by Lacy Clay, Democratic Representative from Missouri, as he asked in a congressional hearing whether FBI director James Comey was aware of Trump sharing Twitter posts by white supremacists.
In The Daily Telegraph, Trump supporter Crystal Wright wrote that the candidate needed to separate himself from white nationalists such as The Daily Stormer, who were endorsing him ahead of other politicians they deemed "cuckservatives" for holding more liberal positions. Writing for The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf theorized that modern academia's focus on race rather than "color-blind" individualism was causing divisions and allowing white nationalist sites such as The Daily Stormer to gain an audience, and therefore become a "tiny but nevertheless alarming portion" of Trump's support. Al Jazeera writer Malcolm Harris analyzed the endorsement and predicted that a Trump presidency would strengthen organized racist groups and lead to civil war.
Huffington Post journalist Jessica Schulberg compared how white nationalists like Anglin and former KKK leader David Duke believed Trump to be representative of their ethnic interests, while at the same time several Jews believed him to be representative of theirs. In July 2016, Trump tweeted an image originating from the far-right, showing his rival Hillary Clinton, a background of money and a balloon in the shape of a six-pointed star calling her the "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"; he deleted the image and reposted it with a circular balloon. Anglin believed Trump had posted the first image in full knowledge that the balloon was a Star of David, and that this was evidence of Trump being a pragmatic anti-Semite: "The evangelicals will listen to his pro-Israel statements, while we will listen to his signals. By pushing this into the media, the Jews bring to the public the fact that yes, the majority of Hilary's [sic] donors are filthy Jew terrorists."
After Trump won the election, Anglin called on the site's readers to use non-violent intimidation to make "brown people" feel unwelcome in America, and to goad disappointed supporters of Hillary Clinton into committing suicide.
Reaction from white nationalists
The SPLC has stated that white nationalist websites have taken issue with what they see as lowbrow coverage on The Daily Stormer, as well as Anglin's defense of Christianity and denouncement of the white supremacist sect Christian Identity. Others, such as the Traditionalist Youth Network, have praised The Daily Stormer for its reach and influence. Anglin's extreme tone has led some white nationalists to suspect that he is an undercover Jew, an accusation he finds analogous to believing that Jewish LGBT activist Allen Ginsberg was an undercover Nazi.
Colin Liddell of AlternativeRight.com has criticized Anglin's beliefs and tone. Liddell, who believes that stopping migration and encouraging higher birthrates is more important for preserving the white race, condemned Anglin for writing that it was impossible for the race to survive without adopting his views on Jews, Hitler and the Holocaust. Liddell considered that Anglin was attracting poor whites with his provocative online persona in the same manner as monster trucks and professional wrestling, writing that "it is hard not to conclude that Anglin is a paid shill and agent provocateur, whose purpose is simply to infest and discredit White nationalism". Jared Taylor of American Renaissance criticized The Daily Stormer's "extremely harsh, dismissive and insulting tone toward blacks", which he called unhelpful.
The Daily Stormer orchestrates what it calls a "Troll Army", involved in Internet trolling. It came to attention in October 2014 in a campaign against British Labour politician Luciana Berger, a Jewish Member of Parliament. A man had been sent to prison for sending her abusive messages over Twitter and The Daily Stormer encouraged its readers to send her antisemitic messages, as long as they did not promote violence. It also gave out guidelines on how to limit traceability and create anonymous e-mail and Twitter accounts. Berger said she received 400 abusive messages in one week. The abuse was brought up in the British Parliament, where Speaker John Bercow deemed it "beneath contempt".
The Troll Army launched a campaign in February 2015 against Mariam Veiszadeh, an Afghan Australian Muslim activist who demanded that a T-shirt bearing the Australian flag reading "If you don't love it, leave" be withdrawn from sale at Woolworths. A woman was arrested for sending her abusive messages, and Anglin interpreted Veiszadeh's actions as curbing freedom of speech, which he believed "should be responded to with the most ridiculous conceivable hateful speech", claiming that "the vast majority of White people do not think name-calling should be an imprisonable offense". Around 3,000 people defended her with the hashtag #IStandWithMariam.
In 2016, The Daily Stormer took part in a Gamergate-related attempt to have Nintendo marketing officer Alison Rapp fired. Rapp had angered gamers by allegedly removing "provocative content" from localizations of Japanese games, and activists including The Daily Stormer circulated her 2012 essay in which she argued for foreign bodies not to impose laws against child pornography in Japan. She was dismissed soon afterward, with Nintendo stating that it was unrelated to the controversy. Later that year, the site encouraged racially abusing Julia Ioffe, a Jewish Russian journalist who had written a piece on Trump's wife, Melania in GQ; Melania Trump and The Daily Stormer both found the piece too critical. Ioffe said that the abuse was unparalleled in her lifetime since leaving Russia to escape such prejudices 26 years earlier. In June, users of the website revealed the personal details of Erin Schrode, a Jewish woman running for Congress in California, and sent her Holocaust-related messages.
In 2016, The Daily Stormer and the hacker weev jointly took credit for sending copies of a racist, anti-Semitic flier to thousands of publicly accessible, Internet-connected printers throughout the country, many of them at universities. The flier urged the reader to visit the website and accompany it "in the struggle for global white supremacy". Anglin credited weev for the printer exploit, while one of the Daily Stormer crew composed the flier's text. On April 20 that year, Hitler's birthday, university printers in Germany were hacked to publish Nazi propaganda tracts including the website's name.
The Daily Stormer capitalized on the popularity of the augmented reality video game Pokémon Go in mid-2016 to distribute flyers to children congregating in public to play the game. The flyers, featuring the character Pikachu dressed as Hitler and giving a Nazi salute, include epithets such as "burrito rats", "nigger monkeys", "diseased faggots" and "blood-sucking rat Jews." Anglin explained that "The Daily Stormer was designed to appeal to teenagers, but I have long thought that we needed to get pre-teens involved in the movement. At that age, you can really brainwash someone easily. Anyone who accepts Nazism at the age of 10 or 11 is going to be a Nazi for life."
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