opinion

COLUMN: White supremacy worms around censorship to create larger threats



The alt-right has found a way to evade the censorship policies on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

The far, far, far-right hate group has begun using the names of Internet applications like “Yahoo” and “Google” as stand-ins for racial slurs and insults. This way, they can still congregate online to spread slander and white supremacy without the worry that their accounts will be flagged and deleted.

This amount of hatred one group can have towards — seemingly — every population of non-white non-heterosexual people is flabbergasting.

It’s hard not to feel helpless when trying to minimize the threat of a movement that is so dead-set on cultivating heinously racist views it feels it must re-code innocuous household words.

The alt-right did extensive research and planning to avoid Google’s AI Jigsaw, which was conceived to seek out and delete harmful and offensive content with a 92 percent success rate. Since the movement is mostly online, a censorship of their views on the Internet would be a major obstacle to any type of “work” that could be done within their community.

While that “work” may just seem to be comment trolling on publications and forums around the internet, it could eventually escalate into the preparations for much more dangerous actions.

Actually, it already has. According to a CNN interview, Andrew Weinstein, who sent an anti-Trump letter to the RNC, received very graphic threats from the alt-right. All of them were extremely anti-Semitic, and one tweet to Weinstein contained a picture that showed his likeness being pushed into a gas chamber.

Weinstein is a white, Republican man. However, he was not safe from the attacks of the alt-right simply because he is a Jew and not a Trump supporter.

The new set of secret meanings will make the enclaves of alt-right maniacs even more difficult to find and mitigate and will make their posts fly under the radar.

And even if we do find and diminish these spaces for hate speech, what is to stop them from digging deeper into the Internet to do their business? If they were motivated enough to find a way around it last time, it could happen again quite easily.

The more underground the alt-right gets, the more threatening they become. And, the more times they dodge censorship tactics, the more fuel gets added to their fire.

That means attacks like the ones on Weinstein could become more prevalent, target more powerful people and possibly be even more damaging and distasteful.

Weinstein, among others, has alleged that Trump is almost a figurehead for the alt-right, and even inspires the fringe group to continue their hatred. Stephen Bannon, CEO of Trump’s campaign, is another face for the movement. He created a space for them to revel in their anti-left, anti-everyone ideals with his time at Breitbart.com.

Neither Trump nor Bannon have been truly held accountable for egging on this atrocious hate group. If the online masses keep slipping through the cracks using coded language, Trump and Bannon, as the sources of inspiration, should be held more responsible.

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