According to a new report from NBC News, white nationalists and supremacists are stirring the pot of their hatred and division across the web via social media posts “of a distinct type.” The report says that the posts “hint darkly that the CIA or the FBI are behind mass shootings. They traffic in racist, sexist and homophobic tropes. They revel in the prospect of a ‘white boy summer.’”
“Thriving, macho communities” on sites like Instagram, TikTok and Telegram are spreading, cleverly evading detection with isnider hashtags and innuendo.
“Their snarky memes and trendy videos are riling up thousands of followers on divisive issues including abortion, guns, immigration and LGBTQ rights. The Department of Homeland Security warned Tuesday that such skewed framing of the subjects could drive extremists to violently attack public places across the U.S. in the coming months.
These type of threats and racist ideology have become so commonplace on social media that it’s nearly impossible for law enforcement to separate internet ramblings from dangerous, potentially violent people, Michael German, who infiltrated white supremacy groups as an FBI agent, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.”
German continued by telling the committee that “It seems intuitive that effective social media monitoring might provide clues to help law enforcement prevent attacks,” German said. “After all, the white supremacist attackers in Buffalo, Pittsburgh and El Paso all gained access to materials online and expressed their hateful, violent intentions on social media.”
But, he continued, “so many false alarms drown out threats.”
NBC reports that the FBI and Homeland Security are busy working with state and local officials to try and help raise awareness about the rising threats from extremist groups.
The report explains how such groups evade detection on social media by not using language like “white supremacy” but instead, use coded language and emojis:
“a Christian cross emoji in their profile or words like “anglo” or “pilled,” a term embraced by far-right chatrooms, in usernames. Most recently, some of these accounts have borrowed the pop song “White Boy Summer” to cheer on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade, according to an analysis by Zignal Labs, a social media intelligence firm.”