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Hullabaloo


Sunday, July 03, 2016

 
Trump's got a feel for the alt-right

by digby




















Remember that anti-Semitic tweet from Donald Trump yesterday? Well, guess what?
Mic discovered Sunday that Donald Trump's Twitter account wasn't the first place the meme appeared. The image was previously featured on /pol/ — an Internet message board for the alt-right, a digital movement of neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Trump's rhetoric — as early as June 22, over a week before Trump's team tweeted it.

Though the thread where the meme was featured no longer exists, you can find it by searching the URL in Archive.is, a "time capsule of the internet" that saves unalterable text and graphic of webpages. Doing so allows you to see the thread on /pol/ as it originally existed.

Of note is the file name of the photo, HillHistory.jpg, potentially a nod to the Neo-Nazi code for "HH," or "Heil Hitler," which the alt-right is fond of hiding in plain sight.

The watermark on the lower-left corner of the image leads to a Twitter account that regularly tweets violent, racist memes commenting on the state of geopolitical politics.

This is hardly the first time anyone's noticed this. Last march Fortune did this story on Trump's social media ties to genocidal white supremacists. And since Trump notoriously does his own tweeting, it's notable that he seems to be unusually attracted to the racist tweets that come across his timeline which he likes to retweet to his millions of followers:

In late January, Donald Trump did something that would have sunk almost any other presidential campaign: He retweeted an anonymous Nazi sympathizer and white supremacist who goes by the not-so-subtle handle @WhiteGenocideTM. Trump neither explained nor apologized for the retweet and then, three weeks later, he did it again. This subsequent retweet was quickly deleted, but just two days later Trump retweeted a different user named @EustaceFash, whose Twitter header image at the time also included the term “white genocide.”


None of this went unnoticed among ardent racists, many of whom believe there is a coordinated effort to eventually eliminate the “white race.”


Trump is “giving us the old wink-wink,” wrote Andrew Anglin, editor of a white supremacist website called The Daily Stormer, after Trump retweeted two other “white genocide” theorists within a single minute. “Whereas the odd White genocide tweet could be a random occurrence, it isn’t statistically possible that two of them back to back could be a random occurrence. It could only be deliberate…Today in America the air is cold and it tastes like victory.”


It is possible that Trump ― who, according to the campaign, does almost all of his own tweeting ― is unfamiliar with the term “white genocide” and doesn’t do even basic vetting of those whose tweets he amplifies to his seven million followers. But the reality is that there are dozens of tweets mentioning @realDonaldTrump each minute, and he has an uncanny ability to surface ones that come from accounts that proudly proclaim their white supremacist leanings.


“The retweets are based solely on the content, not the personal views of those individuals as they are not vetted, known or of interest to the candidate or the campaign,” says Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who declined to explain how Trump searches through his Twitter feed. Hicks also declined (repeatedly) to answer Fortune‘s question as to whether or not Trump believes that white genocide is a legitimate concern.

There's a lot more at the link. They went in and analyzed his twitter feed and it's just creepy.

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