The Daily Stormer
|Slogan||Preparing for the race war since 2013|
Type of site
|News and commentary|
|Registration||Required to comment|
|Launched||July 4, 2013|
|12,751 (March 26, 2017)|
The Daily Stormer is an American neo-Nazi and white supremacist news and commentary website that also considers itself part of the alt-right movement. Its editor is Andrew Anglin, who founded it on July 4, 2013, as a faster-paced replacement for his previous website Total Fascism.
The site uses humorous Internet memes, which have been likened to the imageboard 4chan, and are 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 has made very serious allegations against Jews and various socialists, accusing them of cultural insubordination and treason. While some white nationalist authors have praised The Daily Stormer's reach, a few have taken issue with its content and tone, accusing Anglin of being an agent provocateur, used to discredit true white nationalism.
The Daily Stormer orchestrates what it calls the "Troll Army", which is involved in Internet trolling of figures with whom Anglin disagrees politically. In August 2017, the site's continued existence became uncertain when no Internet provider could be found that was willing to host content this far to the political right.
Anglin told media and technology company Vocativ that he was liberal as a youth, and as a teenager he read works by Noam Chomsky and "all that Communist, Jewish stuff". Former classmates at the Linworth Alternative Program and the Worthington Christian High School which he attended from 1999 to 2003, told local website Columbus Alive that they remembered him as a dreadlocked vegan who was outspoken on social and political issues, from a liberal perspective. Anglin studied at Columbus State Community College in 2003 and in 2008 he moved to the Philippines to teach English. He wrote in 2012 that he found the locals to be "a civilized, non-aggressive and industrious people" but eventually became lonely and only wanted to associate with his own race; "By the Grace of God, I found Adolf Hitler".
In 2012, Anglin launched his first website, Adventure Quest 2012, which discussed conspiracy theories, most particularly the Reptilians. He described the aim of the site as to "mend the wounds produced by modern society ... and [help] the reader transcend these physical bonds and reach total ascendancy. To mend these wounds, the world must learn to embrace diversity and color." He later studied Buddhism, Islam and 20th-century French philosophy before aligning himself with Neo-Nazism. In 2014, he stated that although he agreed with the central tenets of Nazism, he had reservations over reintroducing all aspects of Adolf Hitler's regime. Later in 2012, he launched his first far-right website, Total Fascism. Feeling that it 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 is registered in the name of Anglin's father Greg, who runs a Christian-inspired counseling service in Worthington, Ohio. Anglin said in March 2014 he spends 70 hours a week writing for the website, which is primarily funded through donations which he solicits regularly from site visitors. The older Anglin was protested by Anti-Racist Action for cashing his son's checks. In February 2017 the website announced a corporate sponsor, Smerff Electrical owned by Simon Hickey of Brisbane, Australia, whose website contains images of alt-right meme Pepe the Frog. Anglin told Mother Jones that he received donations from Silicon Valley, and that Santa Clara County, California—home of Apple Inc. and Intel—was the largest source of traffic to his website.
Anglin's location is not known. An investigative article by The Huffington Post in November 2016 analyzed his social media, and FBI sources, and concluded that he was living in Germany. Rumors have also placed him in Russia, and he himself claims he has been granted refuge in Nigeria.
Content and reception
The Daily Stormer takes its name from the Nazi Party's tabloid newspaper Der Stürmer, known in retrospect for its virulently antisemitic caricatures of Jews. Its publisher, Julius Streicher, was executed after the Second World War for crimes against humanity.
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". The site bills itself as "America's #1 Most-Trusted Republican News Source". 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" in addition to pro-Assad coverage of the Syrian Civil War. 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 [up to March 2015] often topped the oldest and largest hate site on the web, Stormfront, in terms of reach and page views, based on Alexa data". Anglin claimed in May 2016 that the website's traffic had doubled over the last six months, peaking at 120,000 daily visitors. The website is part of the alt-right movement, and calls itself "The World’s Most Visited Alt-Right Website". As the movement made headlines in mid-2016, "bolstered in part by the unexpected rise of Donald Trump and Britain's decision to leave the European Union", Anglin declared "We won the meme war; now we've taken over the GOP, and we did this very, very quickly." Unlike other figures such as Breitbart News journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, Anglin does not play down the extremist elements in the alt-right, stating that "The goal is to ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government. Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated".
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) stated that The Daily Stormer owed its success to the online imageboard 4chan becoming popular among racists, as both websites use similar memes and rhetorical styles. One meme the website has used is to overlay photographs of Taylor Swift with anti-Semitic quotations, including those by Hitler. The website puts triple parentheses around the names of Jews, a far-right meme created by fellow website The Right Stuff. Jacob Siegel of The Daily Beast wrote that the website was growing in popularity 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 minorities. 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. He also believes that his extreme right-wing rhetoric can normalize less extreme right-wingers such as Trump.
Hacker and Internet troll weev wrote an article on the website after his release from prison, espousing his recent conversion to Neo-Nazism 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 a 2015 attack on a free speech exhibition in Garland, Texas, under the alias of a Muslim extremist, wrote white supremacist articles for The Daily Stormer under the pseudonym Michael Slay.
The Daily Stormer attracted media coverage when the SPLC stated that white supremacist spree killer Dylann Roof—who on June 17, 2015, shot nine African Americans to death in the Charleston church shooting—may have made several comments on the site. The SPLC 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". In October of that year, Anglin gave a positive reaction to an attempted assassination on Henriette Reker, a pro-immigration candidate to be mayor of the German city of Cologne, decrying her as a "feminist hag".
Support for Donald Trump
Anglin officially endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2015 after the candidate said that many illegal immigrants from Mexico were criminals and rapists. Anglin 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". According to the SPLC, white supemacist endorsement of Trump is unprecedented, as the movement is generally skeptical of all politicians. In July 2016, Andrew Anglin and The Daily Stormer were mentioned by Lacy Clay, Democratic Representative from Missouri, as he asked in a congressional hearing whether FBI director James Comey was aware of Trump sharing Twitter posts by white supremacists. Anglin wrote in July 2016 that he believed that Trump was a pragmatic anti-Semite who praised Israel to win votes from evangelical Christians, while dropping subtle hints about purported Jewish domination of rival Hillary Clinton's campaign. The Huffington Post journalist Jessica Schulberg compared how white nationalists like Anglin and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke believed Trump to be representative of their ethnic interests, while at the same time several Jews believed him to be representative of theirs.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Crystal Wright demanded that the candidate separate himself from white nationalists such as The Daily Stormer, who were endorsing him ahead of other politicians they deemed "cuckservatives" for holding more liberal positions. 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 nationalist sites such as 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.
After Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Anglin called on the site's readers to use non-violent intimidation to make "brown people" feel unwelcome in America, and to goad disappointed supporters of Clinton into committing suicide.
After the 2017 Shayrat missile strike in Syria, the Daily Stormer took an anti-Trump approach, citing Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner as an unwanted influence, and alleging Trump is now under "control of the Jews".
Reaction from white nationalists
White nationalist websites such as Stormfront and Counter-Currents have taken issue with what they see as lowbrow coverage on The Daily Stormer, as well as Anglin's defense of Christianity and denunciation of the white supremacist group Christian Identity. Kyle Rogers of the Council of Conservative Citizens has also criticized the website for reprinting its material. Anglin has also been criticized for his relationships with non-white women in the Philippines, and for his insults towards white women on his website.
Colin Liddell of AlternativeRight.com has criticized Anglin's beliefs and tone. Liddell, who believes that stopping migration and encouraging higher birthrates is more important for preserving the white race, condemned Anglin for writing that it was impossible for the race to survive without adopting his views on Jews, Hitler and the Holocaust. Liddell suspected that Anglin was attracting poor whites with his provocative online persona in the same manner as monster trucks and professional wrestling, writing 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". Jared Taylor of American Renaissance criticized The Daily Stormer's "extremely harsh, dismissive and insulting tone toward blacks", which he called unhelpful.
Others, such as the Traditionalist Youth Network, have praised The Daily Stormer for its reach and influence. Anglin's extreme tone has led some white nationalists to suspect that he is an undercover Jew, an accusation he finds analogous to believing that Jewish LGBT activist Allen Ginsberg was an undercover Nazi.
The Daily Stormer orchestrates what it calls a "Troll Army", involved in Internet trolling. It came to attention in October 2014 in a campaign against British Labour politician Luciana Berger, a Jewish Member of Parliament. A member of neo-Nazi group National Action 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 a campaign in February 2015 against Mariam Veiszadeh, an Afghan Australian Muslim activist who demanded that a T-shirt bearing the Australian flag 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".
In 2016, The Daily Stormer took part 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 video games, and activists including The Daily Stormer 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 magazine. Melania Trump and The Daily Stormer both found the piece too critical. Ioffe said that the abuse was unparalleled in her lifetime since leaving Russia to escape such prejudices 26 years earlier. In June, users of the website revealed the personal details of Erin Schrode, a Jewish woman running for Congress in California, and sent her Holocaust-related messages.
The Southern Poverty Law Center opened a lawsuit against the Daily Stormer alleging it had invaded the privacy and caused "intentional infliction of emotional distress" upon Montana Jewish resident Tanya Gersh for initiating a "troll storm" in response to the alleged extortion of property belonging to the mother of Richard B. Spencer at the hands of Gersh. Gersh denies the allegations. 
In 2016, The Daily Stormer and the hacker weev jointly took credit for sending copies of a racist, anti-Semitic flier to thousands of publicly accessible, Internet-connected printers throughout the country, many of them at universities. The flier urged the reader to visit the website and accompany it "in the struggle for global white supremacy". Anglin credited weev for the printer exploit, while one of The Daily Stormer crew composed the flier's text. 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 Daily Stormer capitalized on the popularity of the augmented reality video game Pokémon Go in mid-2016 to distribute flyers to children congregating in public to play the game. The flyers featured the character Pikachu dressed as Hitler and giving a Nazi salute, as well as racist and homophobic epithets. Anglin explained that "The Daily Stormer was designed to appeal to teenagers, but I have long thought that we needed to get pre-teens involved in the movement. At that age, you can really brainwash someone easily. Anyone who accepts Nazism at the age of 10 or 11 is going to be a Nazi for life." On May 3, 2017, one day after a deadly stabbing attack, racist flyers were posted across campus with the website address for The Daily Stormer, a caricature of a black person, and the line "...around blacks ...never relax!".
In 2016 the Daily Stormer expanded its activities to establish 31 "clubs".
Site hosting issues after 2017 Unite the Right rally
On August 13, 2017, the website was told by hosting company GoDaddy that it had violated the terms of service when Anglin published an article smearing Heather Heyer, who was killed at the 2017 Unite the Right rally. Anglin was given 24 hours to locate new hosting for the site. The next day it moved to Google which almost immediately stated "We are cancelling Daily Stormer's registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service". The site's YouTube account was also shut down.
Shortly after GoDaddy's initial announcement, a blog post on The Daily Stormer claimed that hacker group Anonymous had taken control of the site. There were suggestions that the reported hack was a hoax promulgated by Anglin. A main source for Anonymous denied involvement in the purported hack. The content of the site was subsequently replaced with an error message. The pseudo-error features a cartoon white whale being hoisted out of the ocean (a parody of the retired Twitter fail whale graphic) and begins with the paragraph "we're having an outage. it'll be a minute. for the time being, those that know how please come chat on IRC: irc.dailystormer.com #dailystormer. IRC is not a website. you cannot type this into a web browser. [Sic, capitalization errors]."
Later on August 14, Daily Stormer signed up with Contract Privacy, an anonymization service operated by Tucows. However, Tucows canceled Daily Stormer hours later. On August 15, the day after GoDaddy and Google banned the site, it was announced by Andrew "weev" Aurenheimer that the site had moved to the dark web, and that it was now only accessible via Tor. Early in the day, Facebook had banned links to the site and Discord had banned its channel.
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