Linguistic data analysis of 3 billion Reddit comments shows the alt-right is getting stronger
You probably have a good idea of who the so-called “alt-right” are: a group of white supremacists and nationalists, bound up by a fiery loathing of “political correctness,” “cultural Marxism,” and those pesky “social-justice warriors.” You might have also seen the articles that tell us to stop using that term and call them out for the fascist, neo-Nazis they are. In the wake of the “Unite the Right” protests in Charlottesville last weekend, these calls have only become more urgent. The phrase has become a catch-all for people like Richard Spencer, the head of the white supremacist National Policy Institute, and Milo Yiannopoulos, the online troll and provocateur who recently fell from mainstream conservative grace. But there’s a lot more people it catches in its (inter)net.
The alt-right isn’t one group. They don’t have one coherent identity. Rather, they’re a loose collection of people from disparate backgrounds who would never normally interact: bored teenagers, gamers, men’s rights activists, conspiracy theorists and, yes, white nationalists and neo-Nazis. But thanks to the internet, they’re beginning to form a cohesive group identity. And I have the data to prove it.