Concerned with the increased participation in online alt-right groups after the 2016 presidential elections and the increasingly sophisticated yet unregulated social media ecosystem, we began our first endeavor in exploring the topics of interest within alt-right groups. In response to violent and harassing content, mainstream social media platforms have explored various forms of content moderation to rule out hateful content, which included the banning of some right-leaning extremist users (Berger, 2018) and the removal of their accounts. Those who felt censored sought out alternative platforms such as Gab, whose claims of minimal moderation, freedom of speech, and individual liberty, was especially appealing. As such, Gab has become well-associated with and used as a social media platform for the alt-right. Our project then explored the discourses generated by Gab users for the period between 2016 and 2019.
Alt-right women online
This project grew out of our interest in understanding how do women in alt-right movements establish and navigate gender roles and expectations within these communities, especially through banal interactions. We are also interested in how gender roles and expectations in these communities are linked to normative gender expectations. In addition to understanding the dynamics of gendered roles within these groups, we are also interested in understanding the role social media platforms play in facilitating and influencing interactions, as well as (dis)encourage community growth and in-group loyalty.