White supremacist groups explicitly target recruits using the memes and fake-joking language of Internet culture. The HuffPost obtained what it called a style guide used by one of the more prominent white nationalist sites, the Daily Stormer, which outlined how it targeted recruits to its ideology.
“Most people are not comfortable with material that comes off as vitriolic, raging, non-ironic hatred,” the document read. “The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.”
The section is called “Lulz.”
Who is targeted? Largely disaffected young men — young white men — who are fed rhetoric that empowers them by casting others as a threat to them and their cultures.
“We are dealing with angry, disaffected men, mostly White, who find purpose & community with these extremist groups who give them a hero’s narrative through violent ideology of White supremacy,” New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali wrote on Twitter after the New Zealand attacks. “It’s like White ISIS.”
How do terrorists recruit people on the anonymous corner of the internet known as the dark web? We asked security expert Michael Osborne
What kind of person is susceptible to being recruited into joining a terrorist group? How do internet users become involved in online markets selling weapons, drugs and other contraband?
These are some of the questions security expert Michael Osborne is working on as part of the European project PROTON to understand criminal behaviour online. The study looks at all of the attributes necessary as a whole for terrorist recruitment and cybercrime and tries to model them. That way, we can learn what increases or decreases criminal behaviour on a large scale and inform a policy response. This means researching both on popular social media platforms and what’s known as the dark web, a part of the internet accessible only via specialised software and known for its anonymity.
“I think that Breivik was a turning point, because he was sort of a proof of concept as to how much an individual actor could accomplish,” said J.M. Berger, author of the book “Extremism” and a research fellow with VOX-Pol, a European academic initiative to study online extremism.
“He killed so many people at one time operating by himself, it really set a new bar for what one person can do.”
Death Row Information compiles things you never wanted to know from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Peruse the site to check out the next upcoming execution on the calendar, or learn more about the people currently on the row.
On one page, a chart of executed offenders gives you the name, county, race, age, and date of passing. In fact, you can click on a link to read the last statement left by the man or woman before their end.
A Columbine Site is exactly what it sounds like: it offers documents and videos you never wanted to learn about the tragic events that occurred at Columbine High School. For those looking to relive this horrible 1999 experience, or perhaps gain further insight into the culprits, this is a one-stop shop.
People can watch creepy videos of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold before they became infamous, and trace their routes through the school on that fateful day. The site warns viewers about its disturbing content and rightfully advises them to proceed with caution.
Skyway Bridge is named after the fourth most popular bridge to end one’s life from, and this website tracks those incidents. People can click around and find recent people who have jumped off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which is on the West Coast of Florida. The “jumper pages” creepily take you back through the decades in order to see just how long and popular this deadly tradition is.
On one part of the site, you can even fill out an online form in order to report a “jumper” who has leaped (including a link to their Facebook page).