The International Alternative Right

In 2017, we are seeing a rapidly-growing far-right threat to society. It is international, well-funded, and able to influence in the highest corridors of power.

We undertook a year-long investigation to unveil the figures, operations, and motives behind the mysterious "alt-right".

"Define alt-right to me. You define it. Define it for me. Come on. Let's go." – President Donald Trump to a reporter, August 15, 2017.

The "alt-right", once dismissed as an online distraction, remains relatively misunderstood. This report explains the history and rise of the movement, uncovers the key players behind it, and examines the way in which their network operates on a global scale.

But we knew that the only way to discover what the alt-right truly is was to get inside.

We undertook a year-long infiltration, to gain access to some of the most important alt-right figures in the world and give an exclusive, never-before-seen insight into the inner workings of this international racist movement.

From Charlottesville to the White House, this is the largest and most comprehensive report yet produced on the international Alternative Right.

Undercover in the Alt-Right

For the past year, our operative has been living undercover at the heart of the alt-right. 

He infiltrated their network. He extracted damning information that runs all of the way to the White House. And he caught it all on hidden camera.

Key events

Explore the significant events behind the rise of the Alternative Right over the past decade.

2008

Paul Gottfried and Richard Spencer coin the term "alternative right"

Paleoconservative thinker Paul Gottfried delivered a speech at the first annual conference of his H.L. Mencken Club in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Without using the term directly during the speech, Gottfried describes the sentiment that would later define the emerging Alternative Right.

During his speech Gottfried addressed "well-educated young professionals, who consider themselves to be on the right, but not of the current conservative movement". He foreshadowed the alt-right's preoccupation with racial politics, complaining of a perceived lack of interest in the "hereditary preconditions for intellectual and cultural achievements".

Bemoaning the success of the Left in suppressing "any serious challenge from the right" from public view, Gottfried hoped that this anti-establishment right "will acquire the resources" to present such a challenge and "will know how to deploy them", touching on the alternative media which the alt-light would come to corner especially.

This speech was uploaded by Richard Spencer to the webzine Taki's Magazine with the title The Decline and Rise of the Alternative Right, the first known use of the term.

2012

Stephen Bannon becomes head of Breitbart News Network

Former Goldman-Sachs banker and right-wing documentarian Stephen Bannon took the reins of the far-right news site Breitbart News Network upon the death of founder Andrew Breitbart in 2012.

Bannon has been credited with radically increasing the confrontational tone of the publication, leading Breitbart to caustically attack liberals and established Republican figures alike. Under Bannon the site also upped its relentless association of immigrants and Islam with social decline.

Such content, alongside Breitbart’s later association with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, helped transform the platform into a popular hub for the broad Alternative Right. Bannon was later to refer to the outlet as "the platform for the alt-right."

2014

The Gamergate scandal explodes

The first rallying point of the broad Alternative Right was Gamergate, ostensibly an effort to protect the male safe space of gaming from the perceived encroachment of feminist values.

Triggered in August 2014 after a spurned boyfriend posted an incoherent rant alleging that his ex-girlfriend - a female game developer - had been unfaithful, denizens of the anti-feminst manosphere and the message boards 4chan and 8chan (which have long harboured far right elements) unleashed a barrage of abuse, including rape and death threats, against female game developers and critics. 

For many, Gamergate became symbolic of a broader fightback against "political correctness" and the left more generally. By reporting favourably on the movement, figures like Yiannopoulos were able to greatly increase their own profiles in the ensuing scandal. The experience of engaging in coordinated online campaigning against their supposed antagonists encouraged the emerging Alternative Right as a whole.

October 2015

Trump posts a picture of himself as Pepe the Frog

Pepe the Frog - a meme of an anthropomorphised cartoon frog - became the most ubiquitous symbol of the broad Alternative Right. 

First popularised on 4chan in 2008, the meme gained an association with the Alternative Right due to increasing variations using far right imagery.

Trump’s posting on Twitter of a picture of himself characterised as Pepe the Frog was seen as a signal to the Alternative Right by the loose movement's followers.

LINK

April 2017

The Battle of Berkeley

A pro-Trump "Patriots Day" rally was mired in violent clashes between Alternative Right factions and counter-protestors, leading to multiple arrests and multiple hospitalisations. 

A video of Nathan Damigo, then-leader of the white nationalist Identity Evropa fraternity, viciously punching a female antifascist was widely shared.

Key figures of the Alternative Right

A widespread error in understanding the Alternative Right is a failure to distinguish between the different strands within this loose movement. Broadly speaking, the movement can be split into two distinct branches: the alt-right and the alt-light.

Get to know the key figures behind the two groups.

The Alt-Light

  • Paul Joseph Watson

    From Sheffield, but based in Battersea, London, Watson produces cultural and political commentary videos on YouTube. Watson is also editor-at-large of the InfoWars and Prison Planet websites, headed by the American conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones.

    Paul Joseph Watson

    Battersea, London, UK

    From Sheffield, but based in Battersea, London, Watson produces cultural and political commentary videos on YouTube. Watson is also editor-at-large of the InfoWars and Prison Planet websites, headed by the American conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones.

    Watson launched his YouTube channel in July 2011 and now has over 1,005,500 subscribers and has had over 221,698,300 views, with individual videos regularly being viewed over half a million times and some several million times.

    Watson’s commentary critically focuses on left-liberal positions on gender, Islam, race and immigration. He also extensively criticises the mainstream media and has promoted numerous conspiracy theories to promote alternative media counter-arguments. 

    These include topical claims, for example, that Hillary Clinton had various health complications during the 2016 US presidential campaign and that the Virginia Tech. mass shooting killer was a “mind-controlled assassin”, as well as ongoing, popular conspiracies, for example, that 9/11 was an inside job and that vaccinations cause autism.

    The selective nature of his thinking also comes through in his criticisms of left-liberal positions on the aforementioned subjects, evident in Watson’s frequent reliance on clapped-out, buzzword generalisations like “Social Justice Warriors”, “Libtards” (Liberal Retards) and the “Regressive Left”. Watson ridicules these groups in sensationalist videos such as “Why Social Justice Warriors are SO DEMENTED” and (in an interview with Gavin McInnes, formerly of Rebel Media) “Why is the Left Promoting Pedophilia?” 

    Watson has rejected the alt-right's more extreme positions and has rejected the alt-right label, describing himself instead as “new right” (not to be confused with the European New Right). Watson has also emphasised his Western chauvinist, conservative, and right-wing libertarian political identity, and disavowed the alt-right’s embrace of racial identity politics.

    Watson rejects interaction with mainstream media, undermining his ability to achieve wider influence by normalising alt-light views for a wider audience.

    Watson's involvement with the alt-light movement does not extend to more formal alliances and organisation outside his work with Alex Jones’ InfoWars site. Despite this, Watson has developed a large gathering on social media and interacts frequently with key US alt-light figures including Mike Cernovich, Lauren Southern and Gavin McInnes. More recently Watson has been photographed posing with ex-Rebel Media reporter Caolan Robertson.

    His large social media following has allowed him successfully to promote his alt-light ideas online. For example, In the wake of the Westminster terror attack, his was the most mentioned account on Twitter in the 48 hours following.

    Publications:

  • Milo Yiannopoulos

    Milo Yiannopoulos (born Milo Hanrahan) is a British media personality based in the US, best known as the (now former) Technology Editor of the alt-light American news outlet Breitbart News Network.

    Milo Yiannopoulos

    US

    Milo Yiannopoulos (born Milo Hanrahan) is a British media personality based in the US, best known as the (now former) Technology Editor of the alt-light American news outlet Breitbart News Network.

    Born and raised in Kent, England, he attended the University of Manchester and Cambridge University but failed to complete and gain a degree from either. Yiannopoulos founded the online technology magazine The Kernel which he later sold to the Texas-based The Daily Dot for an undisclosed fee. Yiannopoulos joined Breitbart in the nominal position of Technology Editor in 2015.

    Yiannopoulos has built his media career around being provocative, focusing especially on criticising left-liberal positions on gender, race and Islam. For example, he was a key promoter of the anti-feminist “Gamergate” movement, stated he would ban Glasgow University’s Muslim Student Association if he was elected its rector, and was permanently banned from Twitter after his role in encouraging the racist harassment of actor Leslie Jones.

    Like Paul Joseph Watson, Yiannopoulos’ criticisms involve a deliberate strategy of offensive ridicule, selective evidence, and a loyal audience distrustful of the mainstream media that has bought into his distorted conception of left-liberal political positions.

    Yiannopoulos has rejected the alt-right’s more extreme positions, emphasising instead his Western chauvinist, conservative, and right-wing libertarian political identity. Despite this, his spotlight-seeking provocative persona means his sincere positions are harder to identify and pin down.

    In March 2015 Yiannopoulos co-authored with Allum Bokhari An Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt-Right, published on Breitbart.com. During the article the authors disavow the specifically nazi element of the alt-right, but go on to act as apologists for the alt-right’s racism, referring to it as a “mask” within a movement that is merely engaged in demonstrative hatred for fun or intellectual satisfaction.

    The reason for this balancing act is Yiannopoulos' description of himself as a “cultural libertarian”, a term coined by Bokhari elsewhere on Breitbart.com to describe those who want to “liberate culture” from the “authoritarian left”.

    Yiannopoulos is perhaps the most widely known alt-light figure, though his image took a bad knock in February 2017 when footage emerged of him appearing to endorse sexual relationships between “younger boys and older men”. In the wake of this scandal, he resigned from Breitbart, was uninvited from the influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and was dropped by the publisher Simon & Schuster who had originally paid an advance of $250,000.

    However, in May 2017, he went on to launch his own organisation, MILO, Inc., with the help of $12 million in funding. Also, on 26 May, he announced he would self-publish his book Dangerous via his new publishing company Dangerous Books. 

    Yiannopoulos has maintained a large social media following – even after his departure from Breitbart – through his fondness for publicity stunts. This has included a “Cinco de MILO” party, attended by then Rebel Media White House correspondent Jack Posobiec, in which Yiannopoulos was wrapped in a snake and had “Feminism is Cancer” painted on the walls. He has also continued his speaking appearances, including alongside key anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller in May 2017.

    Yiannopoulos' involvement with the alt-light movement has rarely extended to more formal alliances outside his previous work with Breitbart and occasional appearances alongside other alt-light figures during speeches and for interviews.

  • Gavin McInnes

    ​Gavin McInnes is a British-Canadian writer, actor, “comedian” and media personality living in New York, who has become a key figure in the right-wing alternative media.

    Gavin McInnes

    New York, US

    Gavin McInnes is a British-Canadian writer, actor, “comedian” and media personality living in New York, who has become a key figure in the right-wing alternative media.

    In 1994, he co-founded the Vice Media platform at which he was editor for 14 years. He then departed to present The Gavin McInnes Show on Compound Media and has become increasingly notorious for being a right-wing provocateur. Until August 2017 he was a columnist at the paleoconservative site Taki’s Magazine and commentator on the alt-light Rebel Media YouTube channel

    McInnes also founded the fraternal, Western chauvinist organisation “Proud Boys” in 2016, who have a militant wing, “The Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights”, headed by Kyle Chapman aka “Based Stick Man”.

    McInnes self-identifies as a member of the alt-light and has a conservative and right-wing libertarian political stance but rejects the alt-right’s racial nationalism. He has criticised an array of left-liberal positions and produced deliberately provocative content – often in the name of standing up for “free speech” – with videos such as “10 Things I hate About Jews” (later retitled “10 Things I Hate About Israel”) and articles such as “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural”.

    McInnes’ criticisms often rely on a strategy of offensive ridicule, selective evidence and a loyal audience – distrustful of the mainstream media – that has bought into his conceptions of left-liberal political positions.

    McInnes criticises the mainstream media and uses the alt-right and alt-light’s alternative media ecosystem to maintain a following. However, where the likes of Mike Cernovich have to rely on this separate media universe, McInnes’ background in the established, popular Vice Media platform and his sometime career as a comedian and actor, put him in a better position to mainstream alt-light viewpoints and attract those who may, in time, move on to the alt-right.

    This is evident in McInnes’ mainstream media appearances. He had, prior to his increased engagement with Rebel Media, been a regular guest on various Fox News shows. This background also helps explain his choice of a trolling, satirical and “edgy” tone in his commentary. This feature of McInnes’ style – a leftover from his time at Vice and its trademark hipster, irony-heavy humour – comes through also in the bizarre, self-aware machismo of Proud Boys (whose initiations include being punched while shouting cereal brands).

    Along with his association with Proud Boys (an organisation who counts failed BNP star Jack Buckby among its founding members), McInnes regularly defends the activities of others in the alt-light and in the mainstream right who are sympathetic to alt-light views.

    At times, he has appeared as US figurehead for the alt-light, for example, when descending on Berkeley, California, to read a speech by mainstream far-right pundit Ann Coulter (who has endorsed Proud Boys), at a rally attended also by then-Rebel Media reporter Faith Goldy and ex-Rebel Media independent journalist Lauren Southern.

  • Stefan Molyneux

    Stefan Molyneux is an Irish-Canadian social media personality, writer and public speaker now located in Canada. He was primarily raised in the UK before attending McGill University in 1991 and the University of Toronto in 1993 where he received an MA in History.

    Stefan Molyneux

    Canada

    Stefan Molyneux is an Irish-Canadian social media personality, writer and public speaker now located in Canada. He was primarily raised in the UK before attending McGill University in 1991 and the University of Toronto in 1993 where he received an MA in History.

    Along with his public speaking and self-published books, Molyneux is mainly known for his Freedomain Radio site that he set up 2005. The project has an associated forum, podcast, and YouTube channel. 

    Molyneux is important due to the strong sway he holds over his followers (thanks, in part, to his pseudo-intellectual style) and his closeness to the alt-right, making him a potential entry point for many into its more extreme positions.

    Molyneux primarily commentates critically on left-liberal positions on race, feminism, gender (particularly regarding familial gender relations), immigration, and Islam. He interlaces these with criticisms of the mainstream media, conspiratorial theorising and self-assurance in his views while refraining from the abusive rhetoric prevalent elsewhere in the alt-light.

    As noted, Molyneux takes a pseudo-academic stance, often presenting his videos with accompanying slides and dubbing Freedomain Radio “The Largest Philosophy Conversation in the World”. 

    Molyneux’s community of supporters is so strong that his online following has been described as being akin to a cult with tiered donation schemes, its advocacy of the family estrangement practice of “deFOO-ing” (“dissociation from family of origin”) and policing of its followers.

    In 2012 Molyneux’s wife, a licensed psychologist, was found guilty by the College of Psychologists of Ontario of professional misconduct after using her husband’s podcast to promote the practice of deFOO-ing among her patients. (It is estimated thar 20 people have followed the “advice”.) Molyneux continues to cultivate his following online to the point that many of those who have left his community – or who have had loved ones estrange themselves – have created videos and sites such as fdrliberated.com to share their experiences. Though he has little formal association with other alt-light and alt-right figures and organisations, Molyneux has interacted sympathetically on social media and in YouTube interviews with figures from both. Furthermore, he has voiced support for the pseudoscientific racist theory of “Human Biodiversity”.

    Given the centrality of race to alt-right ideology, this places him much closer to the alt-right than most in the alt-light. However, Molyneux’s background in the libertarian, anarchist and men’s rights movements means his ideological route into this core interest of the alt-right is motivated by a – albeit often still racist – concern with preserving Western culture rather than by white nationalism, as is essential in the alt-right.

  • Mike Cernovich

    Mike Cernovich is a social media personality, writer and conspiracy theorist born in Illinois. Cernovich graduated from the University of Illinois and then the Pepperdine University School of Law and is now based in California.

    Mike Cernovich

    California, US

    Mike Cernovich is a social media personality, writer and conspiracy theorist born in Illinois. Cernovich graduated from the University of Illinois and then the Pepperdine University School of Law and is now based in California.

    He first gained attention through a website he created in 2012, dangerandplay.com, where he kept a blog promoting men’s rights, anti-feminism and misogynist pick-up artistry.

    Since Richard Spencer’s notorious “Hailgate” National Policy Institute Conference in November 2016, Cernovich has disassociated himself from the term “alt-right” and has referred to himself as “new right” (not to be confused with the European New Right).

    Cernovich made politics his primary concern during Donald Trump’s 2016 US presidential election campaign, publishing MAGA Mindset: Making YOU and America Great Again through Castalia House, a publishing house run by alt-right figure Theodore Beale aka Vox Day.

    Alongside a pro-Trump campaign MAGA3X, and his involvement in organising the alt-light “DeploraBall” inauguration party, Cernovich also promoted anti-Hillary Clinton smears during the election including that she had various health complications and was involved in a paedophilia ring.

    Cernovich now maintains his following through conspiracy theories about the manipulation of US politics by networks of “deep state” agents within the political establishment and via attacking the mainstream media.

    In so doing, he plays to the distrust and contempt towards mainstream politics and media prevalent among his audience.

    This emphasis means Cernovich relies less on offensive ridicule when criticising left-liberal beliefs and more on an attitude of complete self-assurance in the veracity of his conspiratorial and falsified alternative media journalism. Given Cernovich’s criticism of mainstream media he has claimed to deny many requests for interview.

    However, he has appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes in an interview that highlighted the anti-mainstream sentiment Cernovich and others in the alt-light and alt-right alternative media bubble capitalise on.

    As Buzzfeed’s Charlie Warzel noted, in defending the false claims regarding Hillary Clinton’s health to CBS host Steve Pelley, Cernovich relied upon reference to the “different universes” the mainstream media, and he and his followers, occupy when it comes to who can be trusted.

    The result of this is that Cernovich’s ability to achieve a wider influence and normalise alt-light views for a wider audience is not undermined by avoiding the mainstream media but, rather, aided in doing so.

    This strategy is evident too in his involvement with others in the alt-light movement who are equally focused on lambasting mainstream media and politics. This has included regular slots on Alex Jones’ InfoWars site to multiple YouTube discussions with the right-wing podcaster Stefan Molyneux.

    In allying with others critical of mainstream institutions while avoiding a focus on race, Cernovich represents a potential for the alt-light to expand its fake news universe. As his following has grown, however, he has attracted some troubling, positive attention from the mainstream itself. Specifically, in May 2017, Cernovich was given a White House Press pass to attend a briefing, a clear example of the current Trump administration’s willingness to engage with the alt-light.

The Alt-Right

  • Richard Spencer

    Richard Spencer, born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Dallas, Texas, is responsible for popularising the term ‘alt-right’ and is the movement’s best known activist.

    Richard Spencer

    Richard Spencer, born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Dallas, Texas, is responsible for popularising the term ‘alt-right’ and is the movement’s best known activist.

    Richard Spencer

    USA

    Richard Spencer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Dallas, Texas, is responsible for popularising the term “alt-right” and is the movement’s best-known activist.

    Spencer was educated at the University of Virginia, obtained a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and then embarked on doctoral studies at the private Duke University.

    Tellingly, Spencer’s entrance essay for Duke University was on the German philosopher, political theorist and Nazi Party member Carl Schmitt. In 2007, he dropped out and took a job as assistant editor at Pat Buchanan’s magazine, The American Conservative, before later being fired for his extremist views.

    Spencer then moved to Taki’s Magazine as executive editor before founding AlternativeRight.com in 2010 as “an online magazine of radical traditionalism” that aimed “to forge a new intellectual right-wing that is independent and outside the ‘conservative’ establishment.” The website’s contributing editors were Peter Brimelow, the British founder of the anti-immigrant website VDARE.com, and Paul Gottfried, also from Taki’s Magazine. The success of the website meant that in 2011 Spencer was offered the leading position at the National Policy Institute (NPI) and Washington Summit Publishers upon the death of Louis Andrews. On taking control he promptly moved the operation from Washington DC to the location of his family holiday home in Whitefish, Montana. 

    In 2012, Spencer launched Radix Journal as a twice-yearly offshoot of Washington Summit Publishers. The journal went on to be one of the leading outlets for the alt-right, hosting articles by a plethora of prominent far-right writers, before Spencer stood down in January 2017 to launch his new venture, Altright.com.

    Spencer and the NPI have been central to the rise of the alt-right and have played an important role in bringing European New Right thinkers to an American far-right audience. The yearly conferences, organised by Spencer, who describes himself as an “identitarian”, attract prominent speakers from across America and Europe. In 2013, at their “After The Fall: The Future of Identity” conference, the NPI hosted the French New Right founder and philosopher Alain de Benoist alongside the fascist author of Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right, Tomislav Sunić.

    That same year, at Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance conference, Spencer called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing”. 

    In 2014, Spencer was expelled from Hungary after trying to organise a conference in Budapest that was to include Philippe Vardon from the French Bloc Identitaire movement and the Russian far-right philosopher Alexander Dugin. As a result, Spencer is now banned from entering the UK and the other European Union countries covered by the Schengen agreement.

    The NPI made headlines around the world in late 2016 when Spencer was filmed bellowing “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” at their “Become Who You Are” conference in Washington DC where speakers included VDare’s Peter Brimelow, antisemite Kevin MacDonald and Colin Robertson (aka Millennial Woes) from the UK.

    Spencer was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump during his election campaign and became an increasingly high profile figure especially in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s speech that referred to the alt-right.

    In January 2017, Spencer was central to the emergence of AltRight Corporation, a merger between the NPI, the publisher Arktos Media and the Scandinavian media platform Red Ice Creations.

    The new group has a single board and an office in city centre Washington DC. Spencer is the American editor and sits on the Board of Directors with Daniel Friberg, Henrik Palmgren, William Regnery and Tor Westman.

  • Daniel Friberg

    Swedish far right publisher and activist Daniel Friberg is arguably Europe’s most prominent alt-right figure.

    Daniel Friberg

    Swedish far right publisher and activist Daniel Friberg is arguably Europe’s most prominent alt-right figure.

    Daniel Friberg

    Swedish far right publisher and activist Daniel Friberg is arguably Europe’s most prominent alt-right figure. 

    He holds an MBA from Gothenburg Business School and was CEO of Wiking Mineral, a small mining company headquartered in Uppsala, that explored for base and precious metal deposits in Sweden. His links with the company ended in March 2016. Friberg has a long history of political extremism and after a number of criminal convictions – including for weapons offences – he became involved with the nazi National Alliance as well as Swedish Resistance.

    As he grew older, Friberg distanced himself from the more openly nazi scene and eventually adopted a more “metapolitical” approach which, as he himself describes, is “about affecting and shaping people’s thoughts, worldviews, and the very concepts which they use to make sense of and define the world around them”.

    To this end, he was involved in setting up the far right Scandinavian message board Nordisk.ru, a web resource infamously used by mass killer Anders Breivik. He was also a founding member of the influential Swedish “metapolitical” think tank Motpol.

    However, it is as CEO and co-founder of publishing house Arktos Media that Friberg has become best known. Formed in late 2009, Arktos has gone on to be the most important purveyor of European New Right and alt-right material, publishing works by the likes of de Benoist and Dugin.

    Friberg himself has published The Real Right Returns: A Handbook for the True Opposition through Arktos and has had it translated into twelve languages. It opens by stating defiantly: “After more than half a century of retreat, marginalisation, and constant concessions to an ever-more aggressive and demanding Left, the true European Right is returning with a vengeance.” 

    He is the organiser of a series of important alt-right conferences known as “Identitarian Ideas”, the most recent of which took place in Stockholm in February 2017.

    In January 2017, Friberg became a co-founder of AltRight Corporation, a merger between Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute, Arktos Media and alt-right Scandinavian media platform Red Ice Creations. The new group has a single board and an office in central Washington DC. 

    Friberg is the European editor and sits on the Board of Directors alongside Richard Spencer, Henrik Palmgren, William Regnery and Tor Westman.

  • Andrew Anglin

    Andrew Anglin is an infamous American nazi who has adopted the iconography of the alt-right and is most widely known for seeking to weaponise the internet.

    Andrew Anglin

    Andrew Anglin is an infamous American nazi who has adopted the iconography of the alt-right and is most widely known for seeking to weaponise the internet.

    Andrew Anglin

    Andrew Anglin is an infamous American nazi who has adopted the iconography of the alt-right and is most widely known for seeking to weaponise the internet. He is the founder of the influential Daily Stormer website, named after the viscerally antisemitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer produced by Julius Streicher.

    From Worthington, Ohio, Anglin is reported to have been a liberal while young though, in a post on his website Daily Stormer in March 2015, he said, “I was not really ever a liberal, in the SJW [Social Justice Warrior] sense, as they are fighting for the system which is something I never did.” In January 2006, he was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

    According to an extensive profile in Columbus Alive, a local newspaper near where Anglin grew up, in 2008, he moved to the Philippines, aged 23, to teach English. While he later wrote that Filipinos are “a civilized, non-aggressive and industrious people”, he also claimed to have become increasingly depressed and concluded that “It was only among my own kind — those of the European race — that I would ever be able to share true kinship, as it is only they who share my blood, and can understand my soul. ... By the Grace of God, I found Adolf Hitler.”

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), the website 4Chan was central to Anglin’s move towards fascism. In Anglin’s own words: “I had always been into 4chan, as I am at heart a troll, […] This is about the time /new/ [a page on 4chan] was going full-Nazi, and so I got into Hitler, and realized that through this type of nationalist system, alienation could be replaced with community in a real sense, while the authoritarianism would allow for technology to develop in a direction that was beneficial rather than destructive to the people.”

    Prior to the launch of the Daily Stormer, Anglin launched a number of smaller and less successful sites. One, adventurequest2012, was a peculiar conspiracy site hosting discussions about reptilian shape-shifters and humanoid sharks. Then, in 2012, he set up the short-lived Total Fascism site where he wrote articles about topics such as Hitler’s art and the Greek nazi party Golden Dawn.

    According to Vocativ, “Anglin finally concluded that his essays on the site, which were often long, limited his audience” and thus decided to launch the Daily Stormer on 4 July 2013.

    Since being launched the Daily Stormer has risen to become one of the most important nazi websites in the world. According to traffic statistics website Alexa, Daily Stormer’s global ranking at one point reached an impressive 13,890th in the world and 4,556th in the United States. This is especially shocking considering the extreme racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial and homophobia published on the website, much of it by Anglin himself. Anglin is a rampant misogynist, so much so that his attacks on white women have even angered some within the white supremacist scene.

    Through the Daily Stormer, Anglin has been able to mobilise a “Stormer Troll Army” to carry out orchestrated harassment campaigns on Anglin’s opponents upon request. In April 2017, the SPLC filed a federal suit against Anglin after his “Stormers” carried out a torrent of antisemitic abuse and threats directed at a Jewish woman.

  • Greg Johnson

    Greg Johnson is a highly influential yet elusive character behind the leading American alt-right organisation, Counter-Currents Publishing.

    Greg Johnson

    Greg Johnson is a highly influential yet elusive character behind the leading American alt-right organisation, Counter-Currents Publishing.

    Greg Johnson

    Greg Johnson is a highly influential yet elusive character behind the leading American alt-right organisation, Counter-Currents Publishing. Remarkably for someone active in the online world, Johnson has managed to remain anonymous for decades with no picture of him ever surfacing until a HOPE not hate investigation captured footage of him in London attending a meeting of the far-right London Forum.

    Johnson’s Counter-Currents Publishing is a key source of alt-right ideas and has experienced a period of growth recently, with March 2017 being its best month ever in terms of unique visitors (187,296).

    The website’s fortunes have been tied to the rise of the alt-right and, after America, Great Britain provides the most site traffic. Out of the top ten cities visiting the site, five are based in Europe with Berlin, London and Stockholm coming in second, third and fourth respectively.

    Johnson has also set up the New York Forum and a North West Forum, the inaugural meeting of which was held in Seattle in November 2016. These groups are modelled on the UK based London Forum at which he has spoken numerous times.

    However, it is not all good news for Johnson and Counter-Currents Publishing. Following a campaign by the SPLC and The Washington Post, Amazon.com removed Counter Currents from its Affiliate Marketing programme, costing the website an estimated $6,000 a year.

    Johnson has also had an explosive falling out with Daniel Friberg and reportedly issued an ultimatum at the launch of the Scandza Forum in Sweden, stating that he would not speak if Friberg attended.

    Speaking on an online forum afterwards, Johnson wrote colourfully: “Daniel Friberg is a piece of shit who should be flushed from this movement forever” and called him “a lying piece of shit”. Johnson also runs the Savitri Devi Archive, an online collection of material relating to the antisemitic Hitlerworshipping, adoptive Hindu Nazi, real name Maximiani Portas.

    To run the site Johnson uses the alias Dr. RG Fowler that he also uses to write about Devi on his own Counter-Currents website.

  • Jared Taylor

    Jared Taylor is a white nationalist whose career in far-right politics long predates the formation of the alt-right (though he now classes himself as a “longstanding member” of the movement).

    Jared Taylor

    Jared Taylor is a white nationalist whose career in far-right politics long predates the formation of the alt-right (though he now classes himself as a “longstanding member” of the movement).

    Jared Taylor

    Jared Taylor is a white nationalist whose career in far-right politics long predates the formation of the alt-right (though he now classes himself as a “longstanding member” of the movement). He is best known as a proponent of “racial difference” and is seen as an intellectual within the white supremacist world.

    Taylor was born and raised to missionary parents in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese as well as French. He earned a BA in Philosophy from Yale University in 1973 and then gained a master’s degree in International Economics from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris in 1978.

    He was the West Coast editor of PC Magazine throughout the 1980s and in 1990 founded the New Century Foundation to push white supremacist pseudoscience. Taylor began publishing American Renaissance as a monthly print magazine in October 1990 and launched an accompanying website in 1994.

    In January 2012 Taylor suspended publication of American Renaissance magazine, refocusing his efforts on the organisation’s website Amren.com, which has grown into an influential website within the far right.

    Taylor began organising American Renaissance conferences in 1994 and there have been fourteen to date. These events have played an important role in bringing European far rightists and, importantly for the development of the alt-right, European New Right ideas across the Atlantic.

    In 2008 Michael Walker, editor of the UK-based New Right magazine Scorpion, attended while, in 2006 and 2012, the prominent New Right and Archeofuturism theorist Guillaume Faye spoke.

    Other Europeans to speak at the conferences include former British National Party leader Nick Griffin in 2002 and 2006, Adrian Davies in 2011 and 2014 and Matthew Tait in 2010 and 2015. Richard Spencer, now a leading alt-right figure, addressed the conference in 2013 and 2015.

    Taylor is well known in far-right circles internationally and has made numerous appearances in Europe. In March 2012, he addressed a rally in Paris organised by the French Identitarian group, Bloc Identitaire, and, in July 2013, he addressed a meeting of the London Forum.

    During the Trump campaign and accompanying heightened media attention on the alt-right, Taylor received unprecedented levels of recognition and exposure. This is due, in particular, to Taylor being featured prominently in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad released just before her now famous speech in Reno in which she denounced the alt-right.

    On 9 September, Taylor spoke at a press conference held in Washington DC called “What is the Alt-Right?” alongside Richard Spencer of the NPI and VDARE’s Peter Brimelow, solidifying his place, in the eyes of the media at least, as one of the key players in the alt-right.

The network map

Explore the connections and influence of the Alternative Right online.

Each circle on the map represents an individual Twitter account. Their relative size indicates how much other accounts in the network interact with them through retweets, mentions and replies – the larger the circle, the bigger their influence.

The lines represent these interactions. The more two accounts interact with each other and the more connections they share, the closer together they appear on the map.

The map shows the division between the alt-light (yellow) and alt-right (orange). Although they do interact and mention many of the same accounts, they occupy two different spheres on Twitter, communicating much more within each distinct group than across, demonstrating a clear indication of their ideological differences.

  • Alt-light
  • Alt-right
  • Other