April 30, 2020

Far-right violent extremists and meme culture

About the episode:

During the recent protests against the coronavirus lockdown in the US, a protester was spotted with a flyer referring to “Boogaloo”, a popular far-right violent extremist slang term calling for a new civil war that has turned into a meme culture of its own amongst violent extremists. One year earlier, before attacking two mosques and killing 51 people, the Christchurch shooter posted on messaging board 8chan, encouraging readers to continue to make memes. 

Join Maygane Janin and Jacob Berntsson as they discuss how memes have become an unconventional strategy for violent extremists to easily spread their ideologies. They are joined by Maik Fielitz, a researcher at the Jena Institute for Democracy and Civil Society, and a fellow at the Centre of Analysis of the Radical Right specialising in far-right extremism in Germany; and Lisa Bogerts, an expert of visual communication, both of them are contributors to the 2019 book, ‘Post-Digital Cultures of the Far Right’. They discuss how far-right violent extremists take advantage of the intrinsic virality of seemingly harmless online jokes to reach out to new audiences and penetrate mainstream culture.


The visual culture of far-right terrorism (Bogerts & Fielitz, 2020)

“Do You Want Meme War?” Understanding the Visual Memes of the German Far Right (Bogerts & Fielitz, 2019)

The visual culture of far-right terrorism (LBogerts & Fielitz, 2020)

Digital fascism: challenges for the open society in times of social media (Fielietz, Marcks, 2019)

How memes are becoming the new frontier of information warfare (Ascott, 2020)

Cyber swarming, memetic warfare and viral insurgency (Goldenberg, Finkelstein, 2020)

We Analyzed How the “Great Replacement” and Far Right Ideas Spread Online. The Trends Reveal Deep Concerns (Ebner & Davey, 2019)

The far-right is weaponizing Instagram to recruit Gen Z (Bateman, 2019)

How the radical right weaponizes memes? (Liyanage, 2020)

Meme warfare in the Swedish context (Davey, 2018)

Shitposting, Inspirational Terrorism, and the Christchurch Mosque Massacre (Evans, 2019)

Mark Pitcavage via Twitter (2020)

European Alt-Right Exposed Organizing Sock Puppet Smear Campaigns on Discord (Riot, 2018)

The Boogaloo: Extremists’ New Slang Term for A Coming Civil War (ADL, 2019)

Maik Fielitz (@maik_fielitz)

Lisa Bogerts

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