Discord and White Supremacist Indoctrination

One of my primary areas of research has been the nexus of communication, propaganda, psychology and emerging (digitized) white supremacist groups. “Group” here is kind of a misnomer, because most white supremacist and alt-right “groups” lack any formal structure, and instead exist on an ad hoc basis unified around strategic use of (not really) ironic memes and humor, as well as Identitarian and far-right views.

Anyway, a lot of counter-terror language uses the term “recruiting” for describing entry into radical ideological groups. Problem is, recruiting implies some degree of bureaucracy and training, where what the alt-right really does is “indoctrinates” people. They take some pre-existing predilection for racism, identitarianism or far-right views, exacerbate those views, and create ad hoc competitions to one-up each other in extremeness in order to normalize radical views in the “recruit.”

Discord is a good avenue for this. There has always been an overlap between alt-right and proto-alt-right thought and gaming communities, mostly because gaming communities tend to have a larger proportion of young men lacking community, identity and purpose than other interest groups (I say this as someone who has been gaming online since the early 90s, as a young man). The article I’m sharing goes into a little detail about how this looks, but honestly, it doesn’t dive deeply enough. I’m hoping I can find more stuff on how the alt-right currently uses Discord.

Article Series on How Cambridge Analytica Came to Be

The NATO association of Canada published a four-part series of articles briefly explaining how the study of OCEAN lead to a Cambridge researcher empowering Cambridge Analytica to specifically target voters in the Brexit and American 2016 presidential elections. I spent some time in my undergraduate program studying Psychographics, an area of research using OCEAN, a personality assessment tool measuring Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism, and back then the research showed promise. Anyway, these are a short read:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

(Image taken from Article 3)