A Climate of Hate

Amid acts of violence, signals show convergence of digital interest in certain far-right issues.

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In the past week, expressions of violence from the far-right have sown fear and death in the United States. Predata’s signals monitor which subjects related to the far-right and alt-right are generating the most activity online. The signals provide an illustration of which subjects are drawing the most attention of hate groups, and, especially now, which fringe-inspired events are resonating in the digital realm.

Two recent developments stand out. First, news reports of a migrant caravan traversing Mexico from Central America en route to the US border galvanized online activity related to immigration. As the chart below shows, a signal capturing interest in subjects related to illegal immigration surged with news of the caravan. A signal reflecting digital interest in right-wing militia groups has recently moved in tandem with the immigration signal. This is a sign that the two subjects have become increasingly intertwined; indeed, several militia groups have moved to locations along the US-Mexico border in anticipation of the caravan.

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Second, the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead has caused digital attention to anti-semitism to surge to its highest level since the Unite the Right white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year. A signal capturing attention to neo-Nazism and other subjects related to white supremacism has begun moving with the anti-semitism signal.

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