The Daily Stormer
|A red rectangle logo. In white, all-caps letters, it reads "The Daily Stormer". In smaller black all-caps, above reads "The world's most visited alt-right web site", and below "Publisher Andrew Anglin, Established 2013". To the right of the writing is a black symbol similar to a swastika or Celtic cross, within a white disc|
Type of site
|News and commentary|
|Registration||Required to comment|
|Launched||July 4, 2013|
|35,670 (Global May 2016)|
The Daily Stormer is an American Neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary website. Its editor is Andrew Anglin, who founded it on July 4, 2013, deciding to write a faster-paced website than his previous work Total Fascism, which had launched the year before.
It has been noted for its use of humor and Internet memes, which have been likened to the imageboard 4chan and cited as attractions for a younger and more ideologically diverse audience. Guest writers have included black hat hacker weev and 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan. The site's rapid growth has been documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who affirm that it has overtaken Stormfront as the web's leading hate site. While some white nationalist authors have praised its reach, others have taken issue with its content and tone, as well as with Anglin himself. The website has also received attention for its endorsement of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and its alleged reading by Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof, whom Anglin condemned.
The Daily Stormer orchestrates what it calls the "Troll Army", involved in Internet trolling of figures whom Anglin claims are attempting to curtail freedom of speech and the values of Western civilization. Individuals targeted by the campaign include British MP Luciana Berger and Russian journalist Julia Ioffe, both of whom are Jewish, and Afghan Australian Muslim activist Mariam Veiszadeh.
Anglin claims that he was liberal as a youth, and as a teenager he read works by Noam Chomsky and "all that Communist, Jewish stuff". He later studied Buddhism, Islam and 20th-century French philosophers before aligning himself to Neo-Nazism. In an interview with Vocativ, he stated that although he agreed with the central tenets of Nazism, he had reservations over reintroducing all aspects of Hitler's regime.
In 2012, he launched Total Fascism, a blog through which he praised Adolf Hitler's art and the Greek Golden Dawn party, while denouncing libertarian radio host Alex Jones for not being critical of Jews. Feeling that his first website was not appealing to a younger demographic and had articles that were too long, Anglin launched The Daily Stormer on July 4, 2013, with shorter articles and a more provocative style. The website, named for the Nazi Party's Der Stürmer, is registered in the name of Anglin's father Greg, who runs a Christian-inspired counseling service in Worthington, Ohio. Anglin says he spends 70 hours a week writing on the website, which is primarily funded through donations which he solicits regularly from site visitors.
Content and reception
Anglin asserts that the purpose of The Daily Stormer is to provide "a means to propagandize people...to get them to look at the world in a certain way." Headlines include "All Intelligent People in History Disliked Jews" and "Adolf Hitler: The Most Lied About Man of All Time". According to The Jewish Chronicle, The Daily Stormer "posts hundreds of racist articles targeting black people, Muslims and Jews". The website offers pro-separatist coverage of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, which Anglin considers "the correct moral position". The SPLC described the site as "the newest up and comer in the heated competition to rule the hate web", which "has in the last six months often topped the oldest and largest hate site on the web, Stormfront, in terms of reach and page views, based on Alexa data."
Anglin made a video of himself at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, mocking the Holocaust and questioning its death toll. He was criticized by the Jewish civil rights organisation the Anti-Defamation League for a post in which he suggested that both major U.S. political parties are run by Jews and support mass immigration from third-world countries.
The anti-racist organisation Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said that The Daily Stormer owed its success to the online imageboard 4chan becoming popular amongst racists, as both websites use similar memes and rhetorical styles. One meme used by the website is to overlay photographs of Taylor Swift with anti-Semitic quotations, including those by Hitler. Jacob Siegel of The Daily Beast stated that the website was growing amongst a younger audience due to its use of humor, and was attracting activists of other anti-political correctness ideologies – such as Gamergaters, men's rights activists and opponents of Social Justice Warriors – who would not usually identify with fascism.
The SPLC has also documented Anglin's involvement in and encouragement of culture jamming by making hyperbolic statements in fake online accounts as women and people of color. He has also said that "ridiculous" statements such as "gas the kikes", if repeated in media coverage, can work to desensitize the public to the Holocaust. In late 2015, during protests chiefly by African Americans at the University of Missouri, Anglin began a hoax of a campus Ku Klux Klan rally and claimed victory when the rumor spread.
Hacker and Internet troll weev wrote an article on the website after his release from prison, espousing his new views as a Neo-Nazi and his opposition to Jews who had "abused our compassion to build an empire of wickedness the likes the world has never seen." Fredrick Brennan, founder of the online community 8chan, wrote an article on The Daily Stormer encouraging eugenics, based on his own experiences of having brittle bone disease. Florida-based Jewish troll Joshua Ryne Goldberg, who encouraged an Islamist attack on a free speech exhibition in Garland, Texas under another pseudonym, wrote for The Daily Stormer under the name Michael Slay.
Reaction from white nationalists
According to the SPLC, Anglin has been criticized by white nationalist bloggers and writers for his focus on Neo-Nazism ahead of "preserving and protecting the White race". The same organization has stated that white nationalist websites have taken issue with what they see as low-brow coverage on The Daily Stormer, as well as Anglin's defense of Christianity and denouncement of the white supremacist sect Christian Identity. Others, such as the Traditional Youth Network, have praised The Daily Stormer for its reach and influence.
Jared Taylor of American Renaissance criticized The Daily Stormer's "extremely harsh, dismissive and insulting tone toward blacks", which he called unhelpful. In his criticism of Anglin, Colin Liddell of AlternativeRight.com stated that The Daily Stormer was too focused on hatred and was attracting poor whites in the same manner as monster trucks and professional wrestling. He wrote that "it is hard not to conclude that Anglin is a paid shill and agent provocateur, whose purpose is simply to infest and discredit White nationalism."
The Daily Stormer attracted media coverage when the SPLC stated that white supremacist spree killer Dylann Roof – who, on June 17, 2015, carried out the Charleston church shooting and shot nine African Americans to death – may had made several comments on the site. They found similarities between one user's comments and Roof's manifesto. The Daily Beast stated that Anglin "repudiated Roof’s crime and publicly disavowed violence, while endorsing many of Roof’s views."
Anglin told the Los Angeles Times on the subject of Roof:
|“||It would be one thing if he went Charles Bronson, Death Wish, and started shooting criminals in the streets. You’d have a way to frame that in your mind, but to shoot old ladies in a church, it’s a completely insane act, clearly. The fact that he chose that target shows that he's mentally unstable. ... I don’t think he's any different from any of the other mass shooters that we've had in the U.S.||”|
Anglin officially endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2015 after the candidate said that many illegal immigrants from Mexico are criminals and rapists, and later refused to apologize for his comments. He encouraged the website's readers to "vote for the first time in our lives for the one man who actually represents our interests". The website also received national and international coverage for its endorsement of Trump's proposal of a temporary moratorium on admitting foreign Muslims into the country; it proclaimed "Heil Donald Trump - THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR".
In The Daily Telegraph, black Trump supporter Crystal Wright wrote that the canidate needed to separate himself from white nationalists such as The Daily Stormer, who were endorsing him ahead of other politicians deemed to be "cuckservatives". Writing for The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf theorized that modern academia's focus on race rather than "color-blind" individualism was causing divisions and allowing white nationalists like The Daily Stormer to gain an audience, and therefore become a "tiny but nevertheless alarming portion" of Trump's support. Al Jazeera writer Malcolm Harris analyzed the endorsement and predicted that a Trump presidency would strengthen organized racist groups and lead to civil war.
It came to attention in October 2014 in a campaign against British Labour politician Luciana Berger, a Jewish Member of Parliament. A man had been sent to prison for sending her abusive messages over Twitter and The Daily Stormer encouraged its readers to send her antisemitic messages, as long as they did not promote violence. It also gave out guidelines on how to limit traceability and create anonymous e-mail and Twitter accounts. Berger said she received 400 abusive messages in one week. The abuse was brought up in the British Parliament, where Speaker John Bercow deemed it "beneath contempt".
The Troll Army launched another campaign in February 2015 against Mariam Veiszadeh, an Afghan Australian Muslim activist who demanded that a T-shirt bearing the Australian flag and reading "If you don't love it, leave" be withdrawn from sale at Woolworths. A woman was arrested for sending her abusive messages, and Anglin interpreted Veiszadeh's actions as curbing freedom of speech, which he believed "should be responded to with the most ridiculous conceivable hateful speech," claiming that "the vast majority of White people do not think name-calling should be an imprisonable offense." Around 3,000 people defended her with the hashtag #IStandWithMariam.
In 2016, The Daily Stormer was a prominent proponent in a Gamergate-related attempt to have Nintendo marketing officer Alison Rapp fired. Rapp had angered gamers by allegedly removing "provocative content" from localizations of Japanese games, and activists including the website circulated her 2012 essay in which she argued for foreign bodies not to impose laws against child pornography in Japan. She was dismissed soon afterward, with Nintendo stating that it was unrelated to the controversy. Later that year, the site encouraged racially abusing Julia Ioffe, a Jewish Russian journalist who had written a piece on Trump's wife, Melania in GQ; Melania Trump and The Daily Stormer both found the piece to be too critical. Ioffe said that the abuse was unparalleled in her lifetime since leaving Russia to escape such prejudices 26 years prior.
In 2016, The Daily Stormer took credit for sending countless racist, anti-Semitic fliers to thousands of publicly accessible, Internet-connected printers throughout the country, many of them at universities. The fliers urged the reader to visit the website and "join us in the struggle for global white supremacy"; Anglin credited weev for the stunt. On April 20 that year, Hitler's birthday, university printers in Germany were hacked to publish Nazi propaganda tracts including the website's name.
The site attracted some attention for its support of the Reclaim Australia rallies, stating that "the people that you’ll find at Reclaim Australia are very valuable to us in the long term. They’re on the right track and, with our guidance, they can be turned into hardcore Nazis". Anglin has also supported White Student Unions at American universities, saying that "Whites need to organize and protect their interests in the face of rising Black terrorism".
- Michael Wines (2015-07-05). "White Supremacists Extend Their Reach Through Websites". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- Pearce, Matt (June 24, 2015). "What happens when a millennial goes fascist? He starts up a neo-Nazi site". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- Siegel, Jacob (June 22, 2015). "Dylann Roof, 4chan, and the New Online Racism". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- Beirich, Heidi (March 11, 2015). "Blog Wars: The Daily Stormer and its Racist Frenemies". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Hankes, Keegan (October 23, 2014). "White nationalism’s exploding civil war". Salon. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Dixon Kavanaugh, Shane (March 20, 2014). "The Man Bringing Back the Nazi Movement in America". Vocativ.
- Dysch, Marcus (October 30, 2014). "Neo-Nazi gave out internet abuse tips in campaign against Luciana Berger". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- "After Executive Action on Immigration, Extremists Lash Out". Anti-Defamation League. November 26, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Hankes, Keegan (January 5, 2016). "How the extremist right hijacked ‘Star Wars,’ Taylor Swift and the Mizzou student protests to promote racism". Southern Poverty Law center. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- Auernheimer, Andrew (October 1, 2014). "What I Learned from My Time in Prison". dailystormer.com. The Daily Stormer. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- "Convicted hacker and darling of the left 'Weev' emerges from prison a Neo-Nazi white supremacist". Breitbart. October 4, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
- Herzog, Chrizella (March 8, 2015). "When the Internet Breeds Hate". The Diplomatic Courier. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
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- Lee, Kurtis (June 22, 2015). "Dylann Roof's manifesto resembles comments on neo-Nazi website, analysis finds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- Wright, Crystal (September 25, 2015). "The white supremacists flocking to Donald Trump". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
- Kaplan, Rebecca (December 9, 2015). "Donald Trump's endorsers still with him after proposed Muslim entry ban". CBS News. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Troup Buchanan, Rose (December 8, 2015). "Donald Trump gets support from neo-Nazi group after call to ban Muslims entering US". The Independent. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Friesendorf, Conor (September 4, 2015). "The Left's Attack on Color-Blindness Goes Too Far". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
- "Trump’s immigration plan is a recipe for civil war". Al Jazeera. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "ANDREW ANGLIN OF THE DAILY STORMER SAYS HEIDI CRUZ SHOULD BE EXECUTED". Southern Poverty Law Center. March 24, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
- Whiteman, Hilary (February 28, 2015). "I will not be silenced: Australian Muslim fights Twitter 'troll army'". CNN. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- "MP wants action over 'vitriolic' Twitter abuse of colleague". BBC News. October 29, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Judah, Sam (February 24, 2015). "Why thousands are standing behind one Muslim lawyer". BBC News. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Stuart, Keith (March 31, 2016). "Nintendo denies Alison Rapp firing is linked to harassment campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Gambino, Lauren (April 29, 2016). "Journalist who profiled Melania Trump hit with barrage of antisemitic abuse". The Guardian. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "After Hack by Neo-Nazi Group, Anti-Semitic Fliers Appear on Campus Printers". Inside Higher Ed. March 26, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
- Park, Amber (March 25, 2016). "Hacker, white supremacist website claim responsibility for anti-Semitic messages around U". Daily Princetonian. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
- Smale, Alison (April 22, 2016). "Printers at German Universities Mysteriously Churn Out Anti-Semitic Fliers". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- Safi, Michael (April 3, 2015). "Anti-Islamic group Reclaim Australia plans 16 rallies across the country". The Guardian. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Wang, Yanan (November 25, 2015). "Over 30 'White Student Unions' have popped up at US universities". The Independent. Retrieved November 29, 2015.