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Stormfront.org: The Data of Hate

Posted by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 6:21 AM
  • 13 Replies

VIKINGMAIDEN88 is 26 years old. She enjoys reading history and writing poetry. Her signature quote is from Shakespeare. She was impressed whenthe dialect quiz in The New York Times correctly identified where she was from: Tacoma and Spokane, Wash. “Completely spot on,” she wrote, followed by a smiling green emoji.

I gleaned all this from her profile and posts on Stormfront.org, America’s most popular online hate site.

I recently analyzed tens of thousands of the site’s profiles, in which registered members can enter their location, birth date, interests and other information. Call it Big Hatred meets Big Data.

Stormfront was founded in 1995 by Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Its most popular “social groups” are “Union of National Socialists” and “Fans and Supporters of Adolf Hitler.” Over the past year, according to Quantcast, roughly 200,000 to 400,000 Americans visited the site every month. A recent Southern Poverty Law Center report linked nearly 100 murders in the past five years to registered Stormfront members.

The white nationalist posters on Stormfront have issues with many different groups. They often write about crimes committed by African-Americans against whites; they complain about an “invasion” of Mexicans; and they love to mock gays and feminists. But their main problem appears to be with Jewish people, who are often described as super-powerful and clever — the driving force, generally speaking, behind the societal changes they do not like. They sometimes call the Holocaust the “Holohoax.”

Stormfront members tend to be young, at least according to self-reported birth dates. The most common age at which people join the site is 19. And four times more 19-year-olds sign up than 40-year-olds. Internet and social network users lean young, but not nearly that young.


GRAPHIC

White, Bigoted and Young

Who joins a hate forum?

 OPEN GRAPHIC

Profiles do not have a field for gender. But I looked at all the posts and complete profiles of a random sample of American users, and it turns out that you can work out the gender of most of the membership: I estimate that about 30 percent of Stormfront members are female.

The states with the most members per capita are Montana, Alaska and Idaho. These states tend to be overwhelmingly white. Does this mean that growing up with little diversity fosters hate?

Probably not. Since those states have a higher proportion of non-Jewish white people, they have more potential members for a group that attacks Jews and nonwhites. The percentage of Stormfront’s target audience that joins is actually higher in areas with more minorities. This is particularly true when you look at Stormfront’s members who are 18 and younger and therefore do not themselves choose where they live.

Among this age group, California, a state with one of the largest minority populations, has a membership rate 25 percent higher than the national average.

One of the most popular social groups on the site is “In Support of Anti-Semitism.” The percentage of members who join this group is positively correlated with a state’s Jewish population. New York, the state with the highest Jewish population, has above-average per capita membership in this group.


In 2001, Dna88 joined Stormfront, describing himself as a “good looking, racially aware” 30-year-old Internet developer living in “Jew York City.” In the next four months, he wrote more than 200 posts, like “Jewish Crimes Against Humanity” and “Jewish Blood Money,” and directed people to a website, jewwatch.com, which claims to be a “scholarly library” on “Zionist criminality.”

Stormfront members complain about minorities’ speaking different languages and committing crimes. But what I found most interesting were the complaints about competition in the dating market.

A man calling himself William Lyon Mackenzie King, after a former prime minister of Canada who once suggested that “Canada should remain a white man’s country,” wrote in 2003 that he struggled to “contain” his “rage” after seeing a white woman “carrying around her half black ugly mongrel niglet.” In her profile, Whitepride26, a 41-year-old student in Los Angeles, says, “I dislike blacks, Latinos, and sometimes Asians, especially when men find them more attractive” than “a white female.”

POLITICAL developments certainly play a role. The day that saw the biggest single increase in membership in Stormfront’s history, by far, was Nov. 5, 2008, the day after Barack Obama was elected president.

The top reported interest of Stormfront members is “reading.” Most notably, Stormfront users are news and political junkies. One interesting data point here is the popularity of The New York Times among Stormfront users. According to the economists Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse M. Shapiro, when you compare Stormfront users to people who go to the Yahoo News site, it turns out that the Stormfront crowd is twice as likely to visit nytimes.com.

RECENT COMMENTS

Ed

 

I'm Black but actually have a handle on Stormfront and visit other far right websites just to peruse, keep informed. It's always a good idea...

Unitas

 

The origins of racial hatred lie , I believe , in religious training and eduction. At an early age we told we are "better" because of the...

JohnQCitizen

 

Here's one way for you to look at it. This is a very populous country, and as with any large pool of people and on virtually any topic,...

  • SEE ALL COMMENTS

Perhaps it was my own naïveté, but I would have imagined white nationalists’ inhabiting a different universe from that of my friends and me. Instead, they have long threads praising “Breaking Bad” and discussing the comparative merits of online dating sites, like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid.

There was also no relationship between monthly membership registration and a state’s unemployment rate. States disproportionately affected by the Great Recession saw no comparative increase in Google searches for Stormfront.

Some of this research adds to recent literature in the field that is frankly shocking and should change the way we think about hate.

In the 1930s, Arthur F. Raper reported a correlation between bad economic conditions and lynchings of blacks. This led many scholars to the intuitive conclusion that people turn to hate because their lives are going poorly.

But evidence is increasingly casting doubt on this idea. In 2001, the political scientists Donald P. Green, Laurence H. McFalls and Jennifer K. Smith used more data and found that there was actually no relationship between lynchings and economic hardship. Lynchings actually fell during the Great Depression.

The economist Alan B. Krueger has shown that terrorists are not disproportionately poor. And the economists Roland G. Fryer Jr. and Steven D. Levitt found that Ku Klux Klan members were actually better educated than the typical American.

Return to VikingMaiden88. When you read her 189 posts since joining the site, she often seems like a perfectly nice and intelligent young woman.

But she also has a lot of hatred. She praises a store for having “100% white employees.” She says the media is promoting a “Jewish agenda.” And she says she finds Asians “repulsive physically, socially, religiously, etc.”

Why do some people feel this way? And what is to be done about it? I have pored over data of an unprecedented breadth and depth, thanks to our new digital era. And I can honestly offer the following answer: I have no idea.

by on Jul. 17, 2014 at 6:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Jul. 17, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Stormfront is the world’s leading white supremacist website, and a two-year SPLC investigation found that its users were responsible for nearly 100 murders in the last 5 years.

So, who are they? The New York Times does some digging: http://nyti.ms/1oPX7wn

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 4:03 PM


Quoting -Celestial-:


Ed

 

I'm Black but actually have a handle on Stormfront and visit other far right websites just to peruse, keep informed. It's always a good idea...


Yep, I once created a false ID on there too, for that same reason.   To track down a particular rumour and find out who started it and why.

MomTiara19
by Silver Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I have seen this website.It is disturbing.

They call blacks everything from the "n" word,savages to monkeys.They blame every crime on blacks.

They never speak about being proud of their culture.Things they would like to do in life or anything normal and constructive.Just hate,hate,and more hate.

I totally get they hate black people....lol...

I just do not get why they only focus on hate and superiority??

God wont care about your race when you go to heaven.When God asks you what have you done in your life.Who have you helped?Have you been a good person?

The KKK will say I am white...that is my pass to heaven...just being white...seriously???

God will say sorry dude.You left your white skin in a casket when you crossed over.Your race has no meaning in heaven....big dummy...lol..

As far as William saying he has a problem with IR couples and their kids.

I am a black woman married to a white guy.My husband and I could care less what any racist thinks of us and our beautiful kids.

He and the kkk should worry more about their inbred hillbilly Deliverance(movie~squeal like a piggy piggy) kids.They should stop breeding hate.




bluefirewolf
by Member on Jul. 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

unfortunately there are many stupid, uneducated fuckwits out there and the internet seduces more and more of them to websites like this and the websites tend to legitimize their feelings so they don't feel like outcasts  - they are pigs with no real pride, but full of fear and paranoia with an agenda that is a failure from the very start, as all the members of websites like this are failures - 

btw - Amazon.com sells outrageously antisemetic material and a lot of it - such as "the lies of the Jews", the "elders of zion" (which has been refuted by historians and researches to be a false document, meant to turn people against Jews)  Of note when MEIn kampf (Sp?) went digital it was a #1 best seller 

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 2:53 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting bluefirewolf:

btw - Amazon.com sells outrageously antisemetic material and a lot of it - such as "the lies of the Jews", the "elders of zion" (which has been refuted by historians and researches to be a false document, meant to turn people against Jews)  Of note when MEIn kampf (Sp?) went digital it was a #1 best seller 

Good.

I'd be far more worried if they were censored.

Why defend freedom of icky speech? " by Neil Gaiman

bluefirewolf
by Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 3:20 AM

I absolutely believe in freedom of speech, but that does not mean that suppliers have to carry these books -people can write them and publish them all they want, and people can determine if they are going to sell them and support their positions, or not sell them- and by the way they have pulled books and products that have been racist because of public outcry - more about the money than anything else   - the argument for freedom of speech also does not mean that someone cannot retaliate, boycott, fire, etc in reaction to hate speech - there are many misconceptions about the real meaning of these freedoms - censorship is not an issue here at all and again I would stand for anyone's right to publish, say, think whatever they want and I also stand to my right of freedom of speech and the press by petitioning, boycotting, speaking out, rallying, etc in response to hate speech - that is the way it works

Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting bluefirewolf:

btw - Amazon.com sells outrageously antisemetic material and a lot of it - such as "the lies of the Jews", the "elders of zion" (which has been refuted by historians and researches to be a false document, meant to turn people against Jews)  Of note when MEIn kampf (Sp?) went digital it was a #1 best seller 

Good.

I'd be far more worried if they were censored.

Why defend freedom of icky speech? " by Neil Gaiman


Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 6:30 AM


Quoting bluefirewolf:

I absolutely believe in freedom of speech, but that does not mean that suppliers have to carry these books 

I agree that Amazon doesn't have to carry such books.

But I think it is a good thing that it does.   I far prefer that, to the alternative of Amazon having an opinion upon what it is good or bad for me to read.    I want to choose for myself, and if the price of that is allowing other people to choose for theirselves, then so be it.

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 6:40 AM


Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting bluefirewolf:

I absolutely believe in freedom of speech, but that does not mean that suppliers have to carry these books 


I agree that Amazon doesn't have to carry such books.

But I think it is a good thing that it does.   I far prefer that, to the alternative of Amazon having an opinion upon what it is good or bad for me to read.    I want to choose for myself, and if the price of that is allowing other people to choose for theirselves, then so be it.

Sorry if this is off-topic, but it is an issue I feel strongly about.

I think the same applies to the internet.

I want to be able to exchange email with anybody, with the government reading it.   I want to decide for myself whether or not to read a particular website.   I don't want microsoft, the NSA, Hollywood copyright owners, bankers, the police, or even well intentioned people who only want to protect children, making that decision for me.

If you make a cryptographic tool strong enough to allow dissidents in China to go against their government, then it will also benefit criminals.    But that doesn't mean supporting cryptography is an endorsement of such criminals.    It is a trade-off.   The price you pay for freedom.


Give 10,000 racists tools that will help them organise better.   Because, by doing so, you can give those same tools to 10,000,000 anti-racists and help them organise better too. 

Debmomto2girls
by Bronze Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:28 AM

This. I am intelligent enough to know what I want to read.

Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting bluefirewolf:

I absolutely believe in freedom of speech, but that does not mean that suppliers have to carry these books 

I agree that Amazon doesn't have to carry such books.

But I think it is a good thing that it does.   I far prefer that, to the alternative of Amazon having an opinion upon what it is good or bad for me to read.    I want to choose for myself, and if the price of that is allowing other people to choose for theirselves, then so be it.


Debmomto2girls
by Bronze Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM
1 mom liked this

Exactly. And I know this is not a popular opinion but I feel the same way about child porn sites and other illegal websites. If you shut one down, there are 100's more out there.  THey will jsut keep springing up.  It is better to keep it open and catch them criminals using there own website, than shut it down and have the same pedophile create a new one.

Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting bluefirewolf:

I absolutely believe in freedom of speech, but that does not mean that suppliers have to carry these books 

I agree that Amazon doesn't have to carry such books.

But I think it is a good thing that it does.   I far prefer that, to the alternative of Amazon having an opinion upon what it is good or bad for me to read.    I want to choose for myself, and if the price of that is allowing other people to choose for theirselves, then so be it.

Sorry if this is off-topic, but it is an issue I feel strongly about.

I think the same applies to the internet.

I want to be able to exchange email with anybody, with the government reading it.   I want to decide for myself whether or not to read a particular website.   I don't want microsoft, the NSA, Hollywood copyright owners, bankers, the police, or even well intentioned people who only want to protect children, making that decision for me.

If you make a cryptographic tool strong enough to allow dissidents in China to go against their government, then it will also benefit criminals.    But that doesn't mean supporting cryptography is an endorsement of such criminals.    It is a trade-off.   The price you pay for freedom.


Give 10,000 racists tools that will help them organise better.   Because, by doing so, you can give those same tools to 10,000,000 anti-racists and help them organise better too. 


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