Online Extremism and the Insurrection of 2021
Fast Capitalism is seeking critical essays for possible inclusion in a special section of an upcoming 2021 issue about the online right-wing extremism. Our goal is to gather both scholarly essays and political commentaries to present critical analyses of the growing numbers of white supremacists and how they have organized their disruptive political networks online.
When right-wing extremists stormed the Capitol of the United States on January 6, 2021, these proliferating white supremacist groups, who strongly supported then-President Donald Trump were out on full display. While the Ku Klux Klan, skinhead groups, and other earlier right-wing extremists often struggled to find mainstream acceptability, the Trump presidency coyly maintained "there were good people" all across the ideological spectrum in America. This positive attitude toward right-wing extremism changed with the virtual spaces that the online ecosystem that connected such groups to foment insurrection. Online messaging boards from Reddit to 4chan and 8chan created a place where right-wing extremists can meet and share ideas quite openly. From these message sites, memes and video content have proliferated across many other social media websites as well as hard-right news sites, such as Breitbart and One America News Network. These propaganda messages have swamped major segments of the Internet as people who historically do not follow the news or world events have found their best-pitched memes amusing enough for them and others to post, which then have spread like wildfire.
January 6, 2021 was the culmination of years of steady expansion of right-wing extremism from 1990s militia movements to the 2010 Tea Party movement. With a favorable leader in the White House, white supremacists began endorsing Republican politicians who went from dog-whistle politics to endorsing racist ideas. When Trump refused to denounce white supremacists at the Unite the Rite Rally in Charlottesville, VA in August, 2017, it released the floodgates for these movements as a sign that his administration openly accepted these extremists as his supporters.
We are interested in essays that address this topic in the following areas:
- Platforms (ex. 8chan, 4chan, Reddit, Parler etc.)
- Social media policies and regulation
- Capitalism and the spread of new hate groups
- White Supremacy
- January 6 and the use of digital media
- Surveillance and tracking the insurrectionists
- Countervailing centrist and/or left-wing anti-extremist political groups
Please review the Author Guidelines and submit your articles through the online system. If you have any questions, please contact David Arditi, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due by June 7, but feel free to reach out if you need more time.