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Crowd at night carrying torches. Courtesy of NurPhoto/PA Images

There and Back Again: How White Nationalist Ephemera Travels Between Online and Offline Spaces

J M Berger, Kateira Aryaeinejad and Seán Looney
RUSI Journal, 11 March 2020
United States, Americas, Information
Racist content often moves between online and offline spaces in sophisticated ways.

Racist flyers and posters have a long history in the US. In recent years, these ephemeral pieces of propaganda have been coordinated and amplified through the use of the internet and social media. In a vicious circle, racist flyers are propagated online, then printed by activists and distributed offline. After distribution, photos and other documentation of the flyer drops are then posted online in order to amplify their message and inspire further drops. J M Berger, Kateira Aryaeinejad and Seán Looney examine the patterns of racist flyer content and distribution in 2018, including the coordination of posting activity online and the content of flyers. The article draws on a dataset of flyer drops created by the Anti-Defamation League, which was enriched by the authors for content and analysis of online/offline connections.

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