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Hullabaloo


Saturday, September 03, 2016

 
The Lone Wolf Pack


by digby







America's own homegrown terrorists have a very popular leader:

White nationalist social media users referenced GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump almost more than any other topic, and hashtags involving Trump and his presidential campaign dominated among white nationalist and Nazi-associated Twitter accounts, according to a new study comparing social media networks of white supremacists and Islamic State sympathizers.

Followers of white nationalists on Twitter are also “heavily invested” in the New York real estate’s presidential campaign and his candidacy has "energized" white nationalists, the study finds.

But while Trump and Trump-related hashtags dominated the study from George Washington University's Program on Extremism, they were not at the top of the list for either white supremacists or Nazis. (The study made no distinction between accounts supporting the historical Nazi Party and the neo-Nazi movement.) That distinction went to the hashtag #WhiteGenocide, which topped both the list of top 10 hashtags for both groups studied, with 9,284 references among white nationalists and 6,589 among Nazis.

Study author J.M. Berger found a significant shift in the way traditional political hashtags were used in the white nationalist and Nazi networks since the 2012 election, noting that in a similar analysis in August 2012, the name of GOP nominee Mitt Romney did have "any significant mention."

"New developments and new propaganda items are a constant part of the ISIS landscape, whereas content in white nationalist networks tends to be repetitive, with few meaningful changes to the movement’s message, landscape, or political prospects," Berger wrote in the study. "A notable exception to this is Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, which has energized white nationalists and provided new talking points and opportunities for engagement. Trump’s candidacy is likely driving some portion of movement’s recent gains on Twitter."

So great.

And the polls are going the wrong way folks.