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8chan served with search warrant [pdf] (courtlistener.com)
218 points by anigbrowl 34 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 424 comments



I don't know about 8chan but when it comes to 4chan, there's a certain sport in what people comment in threads. There's countless threads of people claiming to be planning something awful (terrorism, suicide, robbery, eating Taco Bell, etc.) And in the comments you'll see people say all kinds of things, that if taken at face value, are pretty horrible (and maybe even criminal conspiracy.)

But the crux is that these people are not serious (though I'm sure some are), they're just saying it for the sport of calling the bluff of anonymous people they perceive as trolls or brooding teens.

It's like the scene in Futurama where Hermes is threatening to jump off a building to his death and Bender says, "Do a flip!"

This doesn't make it right. And doesn't absolve them of the legal hot water they'd find themselves in. But I hope these individuals, if charged with a crime, get lawyers who will vigorously defend this point.

Edit: I want to re-state that I emphatically do not hold any opinions on this topic. I'm just trying to share a bit about what these image boards can be like.


I agree thoroughly with this prudent assessment. One thing I'd like to add is that, after far too much of my life spent on 4chan, I believe the line between a total joke and an expression of a sincere sentiment is much blurrier even than it seems. It's much more subtle than a crowd of irreverent kidders dotted with occasional cold blooded misanthropes.


It’s fundamentally the long-tail problem coupled with the low bandwidth nature of message boards. In real life, pretty much everyone you meet is kidding, and the whackos usually send many additional red flags. On 4chan, you collect the more extreme humor, plus the nuts, minus the additional information that you would use to distinguish them in real life.

The internet has in some ways damaged my sense of humor: I’m so much more prone to taking people’s extreme comments at face value than I used to be, because at some point, the Internet has introduced me to a more extreme view genuinely espoused.


So you thoroughly agree with the parent comment, but add the disclaimer that the line between joke and sincerity is blurry.

It is, therefore, unclear, what exactly, your point is.

Do you agree, or disagree? Is it a reasonable assessment to both agree and disagree?


Their lawyers may try, but if their speech is found to have encouraged law-breaking, they can still be convicted and jailed — regardless that they only did it for sport.

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-tim...

> In 1969, the Supreme Court's decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio effectively overturned Schenck and any authority the case still carried. There, the Court held that inflammatory speech--and even speech advocating violence by members of the Ku Klux Klan--is protected under the First Amendment, unless the speech "is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action"


I'm not convinced that's the proper reading of that law. FWIW, I'm not a lower just a person with an appreciation of legal questions. I was under the impression that the word 'imminent' implied you had to reasonably be aware those people were going to commit a crime immediately. For example if you're at the front of a mob of angry people and tell them to go loot a shop. I think it would be hard to convincingly say that on a website where 99% of users are joking that posters were inciting crime directly.


Knowing is a very fuzzy bar here. There are/were people who turned to 4chan's /b/ (or other boards) for a very twisted way of guidance. ("Should I kill myself?", "shoot up the school", do "an hero" etc.)

Of course in these cases the Internet Hate Machine's response is the same, but the intensity and effectiveness varies.

Is any single commenter legally responsible? Probably not. And not because they lacked intent, but because 99.9% of these threads are empty trolling. So they could be almost sure knowing nothing would happen.

However, if someone does this for years in the hopes to participate in a thread that is not a dud, well that's of course a different state of mind, but it'd be hard to prove.


"Encouraging law-breaking" and "inciting imminent lawless action and likely to incite it" are different standards. The former sweeps up a large swath of stuff, everything from "Smash capitalism!" on down. The latter is much more constrained, and requires both immediacy and a likelihood of results.


> Edit: I want to re-state that I emphatically do not hold any opinions on this topic.

The most astonishing part of your post is that you consider what you're writing "not an opinion".

Because it is nothing but opinion: it's the theory that thousands of non-antisemites would somehow find pleasure in some sort of "sport" of "pretending" to be vile anti-semites (and racists etc). To repeat this lame excuse is to amplify it, and one wouldn't do so without considering it convincing.

I don't see it is as convincing. I'm just as much not an anti-semite as these people pretend to be, and I see absolutely no mechanism how I would enjoy pretending otherwise.

And even if, somehow, there's a psychological explanation of how spewing insincere hatred provides these people pleasure: would that somehow make this behaviour worthy of public support? Even in the best case of not having any effect on the real world, aren't these people are just stewing in their ("pretend") hatred, wasting whatever time and potential they might have on malevolent low-brow attempts of lame humour?

But of course there are effects on the real world. We've just seen two such tragedies and there have been countless smaller ones. If posters there really are fundamentally of sound mind and not intending to be part of actual harm, can they just continue as before? Doesn't the proof that some people actually do commit violent crimes for fame and lulz somehow destroy this excuse of it all just being an act?


I dunno about now, but back when I browsed on 8chan for a bit the people on there genuinely worried me. There was a board dedicated specifically to doxing and messing with people's lives, there were multiple successful raids on social media websites carried out and the slower pace of the boards meant there was more time for genuine collaboration on things. 4chan people always seemed like they were playing, 8chan people got shit done and many of the things i seen on 8chan actually tended to be more genuine than 4chan.

They really took pride in the hatechan nickname. The place left me with a really bad taste. There was some genuinely nasty people there. Not to mention the fucking pedophiles. So many fucking pedophiles. That place really made me believe there's no hope for people like that.


I'm not sure I agree with your argument. People say a lot of things on these boards "for the lolz", or so they say. I don't know how far the defense gets you. Can swatting be for the lolz?


SWAT-ing has an imminent intent to invoke deleterious action; pretty easy to differentiate from simple speech.


>SWAT-ing has an imminent intent to invoke deleterious action

To be fair, if the incidence of escalation to use of lethal force weren't so prevalent as to be an almost guarantee in the states, the results of SWAT'ing wouldn't even be a problem but more of a nuissance, in the first place, yeah?

In other words, if the resultant actions of the police forces - whether believing they were acting in the interests of public safety or not - weren't so haphazardly deleterious to the public at-large (see the baby with burns because of tear gas thrown in it's crib, as an example), this wouldn't have been a viably dangerous exploitation surface to begin with.

Whilst I can understand that such an action (SWAT'ing) is bad and I am not trying to argue against, dissuade, nor assuage the realities of it, I'm merely trying to point out that the realities of the dangers of it's byproduct solely exist due to societial declination; particularly, in the devaluation of human life, as a whole - which has given carte blance, as it were, to the use of lethal force.

In other words, if lethal force weren't such a foreseeable outcome of SWAT'ing, would it even be something considered deleterious or would it be moreso considered merely a waste of time and resources (which, in and of itself, could have secondary or tertiary effects that are possibly damaging [e.g.: we couldn't respond to 'x' critical situation because we were dealing with 'y' critical situation])?


I like where you're coming from, but it doesn't quite work IMO.

Even having the police just knock on your door might be deleterious enough: The point is the outcome is known, expected, likely, and almost certainly has an observable (by third parties that the person ordinarily associates with) negative effect.

Saying something nasty to someone in an online forum, that if ignored will have no effect, is still markedly different; and is readily differentiable.

A first test might be "if I didn't see the speech would it still have an effect".


> But the crux is that these people are not serious (though I'm sure some are)

Some of us distinctly remember the SiliconInvestor boards from long ago: Some wag started a topic on "I need to sell a kidney". Naturally, few took him seriously.

Turns out he was completely serious, and shortly after was in the news: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_O._Barton


The article you link to is of someone who committed suicide and was considered to be a serial killer who executed his family. The article doesn't mention kidney sales, in fact a search of the text for the term "kidney" yields no hits.


Yeah, the Wikipedia article doesn't mention it, but here's a post from a user named "K44B" on SiliconInvestor circa June 2nd, 1999, and then a bunch of discussion a few months later about it being Mark Barton. Doesn't seem to be any clear proof, but at least it's a rumor that dates from the same year as the murders: https://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=10909471

(also holy shit is the UX on this forum awful)


The original thread is here: https://www.siliconinvestor.com/subject.aspx?subjectid=28684

> and then a bunch of discussion a few months later

I remember the board got taken down, but was restored. The shooting was July 29, 1999, and the SIers were already discussing it on the restored thread Aug 11. The thread message at the top changed a few times, but it was pretty clear by Aug 16. https://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=10974409

> (also holy shit is the UX on this forum awful)

Hard to believe it was a giant step forward at the time (do we think people will look back at our current websites in 2039 and think they're beautiful?). SI was quite the daytraders place in its day, and this NYT article from Nov that year captures the spirit pretty well: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/magazine... (Mark Barton is also mentioned in that article, which was published pretty close to the absolute peak of the internet bubble. What a time.)


I’ve found that some people are often much more serious than they let on. These “jokes” provide perfect camouflage.


"In every joke is the seed of truth"

Unless you're a professional, jokes mostly just reveal the things going on in your brain

If you have a soft spot for jokes about dumb women or dumb [race] or encouraging kids to harm themselves, well...


8chan really got popular when gamergate people were kicked off of 4chan.


I wish more people realized this is what happens when you attack a group - it gets stronger.


You can hardly describe it as "attacking a group". At the time moot got tired of these people crying 24/7 on /v/, the video games board.

moot has frequently exercised his unique power to ban a topic to prevent a single topic from overrunning a board. And, like the other chans before it, those most invested in that topic have a huge persecution complex and believe they are being censored when they are simple being told to take their soapbox elsewhere.


> have a huge persecution complex and believe they are being censored when they are simple being told to take their soapbox elsewhere.

How many places do you have to get kicked out of before your 'belief' that you're being censored becomes true?


Depends.

How many places does it take for you to get kicked out of before you start thinking to yourself 'maybe I'm the asshole?'.


How many places do you have to be accommodated by people that don't want to hear it?


Replying to both you and the sibling comment:

Feel free to claim that they are assholes, or that people shouldn't have to accommodate them. But that doesn't falsify the claim that they're being censored.


I have no desire to listen to people I consider to be assholes. I have no problem censuring those people in my life. There is no right to be an asshole. If you're going to be shitty towards other people, you should not expect a positive reaction from them. You should probably expect to be treated shitty in return. That's basically the golden rule.

Instead there is a bunch of people who believe their shitty behavior is completely justified and righteous and then can't comprehend why people don't want to tolerate them. I have no sympathy for that, whatever language you want to use. Call it censorship if you want, but there is no rule nor law that says shitty behavior has to be tolerated and supported.


And I have no desire to be lied to, yet here we are, censoring a group, and claiming they're not being censored.

When faced with the facts, the question is evaded, attempts are made to change the topic, and every slippery, misleading tactic is used to avoid admission.

I can only conclude such people are wholly uninterested in the truth, and are in fact actively opposed to it.


I think a lot of people tie a certain emotional value / weight / bias / power dynamic / etc to the word censor instead of using it in the cold (valid) way you are here. In other words, a forum that bans speech of type X is setting rules and a government that bans speech of type X is censoring, when truly, both are the same action (censorship) but in completely different contexts.

That might account for why it seems many people on this thread are talking past each other. I don't even think, as you imply, that the person you are replying to is purposely using misleading tactics to avoid admission.

I feel like there's this avoidance of using the word censorship because people think it implies something they don't want to imply about their principles. I could be wrong, but this is just something I've seen play out again and again in discussions about this topic.

For instance, my belief that it is fine and in-fact desirable that private forums censor particular topics, behaviors, etc doesn't necessarily mean that on-principle I am across-the-board "pro-censorship" (whatever that means).

So yes, a group is being censored from a private forum and decided to create their own private forum. I still don't see a problem with that, or "admitting" that is what is happening.


> the person you are replying to is purposely using misleading tactics to avoid admission.

I honestly don't think it's on purpose, nor do I think it's limited to the word/act of censorship. It's a simple, subconscious mechanism of

group I dislike is victim of X (justly or unjustly) --> victimhood grants social power --> downplay/diminish/justify their victimization so they do not gain power


Who, exactly, is the 'we' here? Who, exactly, is 'such people' here?

You're talking in vagaries, and including me in them, and I don't particularly care for that.

Bottom line for me is that if you want to call assholes being excluded from some spaces as 'censorship', you're free to do that, but most people are just going to call that 'assholes getting what they deserve'.

If you want to argue that we should be more accommodating towards assholes, then I really look forward to hearing that argument.


I was talking about the general situation (hence the vagaries).

And I'm not arguing for being more accommodating - I'm arguing for calling a spade a spade. To kick a group of people out of almost every discussion forum, then accuse them of having a "persecution complex", is hypocritical in the extreme.

> If you want to argue that we should be more accommodating towards assholes

Not once did I argue that they should not have been excluded, or anything even remotely similar, yet almost everyone who replies insists on putting words in my mouth. Given how straight-forward my posts were, I'm going to assume this misreading was deliberate.


You're admitting to speaking in vagaries and then also calling your posts straight-forward, and then basically accusing me of trolling you.

Sorry I can't read your mind.


Sorry, I should have said 'generalities'. If you can point at which phrase I used that implied we should be more accommodating towards assholes, perhaps I can learn to express myself more clearly in the future.


It’s not usually what comes to mind when I think of the word “censored”, but I don’t think it’s unrealistic for a forum or conversation to set ground rules on what’s acceptable speech and isn’t.


[flagged]


Gamergate was fueled by outside interests way beyond “ethics in journalism” and anger at feminist game critics. The online outrage was easily led down a much broader path.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/heres-h...


I agree there were many other factors, but do you think anger at the other side's actions didn't also play a major role?


Sure, if you take alt-right victimology at face value.


I'm not sure I understand your point, can you explain it?


'Taking something at face value' means accepting it uncritically, but sometimes skepticism is warranted.


I understand the saying, I don't understand the point. Is it that the "victimology" is completely feigned and contribute nothing to attract more people to their cause? I'm sure a lot of it is feigned, but they keep doing it because it works.


Yes. Obviously it's impossible to assess every anonymous poster but examples abound of IRL right-wing extremists who use this as a gambit but whose private chats etc. reveal their insincerity.


In reality, when you attack a group, it gets stronger, unless it retains the same strength, or gets weaker. That’s admittedly a less satisfying rule, but at least it’s true.


It's generally believed that it gets weaker (that's the point of attacking someone - to put them down) and my point is that it tends to get stronger. Attacked groups get together and become more active and motivated. They refine their methods and obtain more high ground from the excesses of the attacking parties.


Gamergaters were not victims, they were denounced and derided because of their doxxing and gang stalking activities on the boards. Their actions led to their removal from 4chan.


The video series about women and videogames started a reaction that included what you describe (doxxing and gang stalking activities) among other things. That led to a reaction that included them being "removed" from 4chan. That led to the more radical people to concentrate on 8chan where don't they get called out for being extremists as much. That led to the case in the OP.

Obviously that's simplified, but I think you can see how the dynamic plays out.

The victims aren't gamergaters or feminists or whatever. It's humanity.


Seems... tautological.


I agree. People fighting for more inclusion in gaming have gotten a lot stronger since they were attacked by gamergate.


I agree it cuts both ways. Groups in both sides have gotten stronger.


False. Deplatforming works. People afraid of it state that it doesn't work because they're afraid.


You are saying that on a story about 8chan's /pol/ board, which is populated by people who have been deplatformed from other places.


Providing an easily monitorable spot for people that should be on watchlists. They're not exactly taking over the world from there, aren't they?

(keep in mind that every time that they have to move, their numbers are diminished along the way)


I really disagree. Some of these groups barely existed 5-10 years ago and now they are everywhere. Violence cases like the one in the story is going to make them lose a lot of credit with the public, but if the other side escalates as well (see antifa[0]) things may get even worse.

I wish we could all accept our differences more civically, but I don't know how we can make that happen.

[0] I fully expect antifa to get stronger after this.


I don't like this, but violence is a proven remedy against fascism, possibly the best one. Engaging them in good faith debate in the marketplace of ideas isn't.


[flagged]


Are you familiar the second world war? I'm Italian, the town I'm from was a few hundred meters away from the gothic line. It was heavily bombed by the allies, the retiring nazis and local fascists blew up the bridges and rounded up people for labor camps, the hills around are marked by the graves of partisans. It's possible to stop this sort of thing earlier, with less violence, ideally only state sanctioned violence (since these people tend to commit crimes, as seen in this case).


You're pointing at the other side's violence to justify your own. You're the living example of what I'm claiming happens in this thread.


You think that there are equivalent sides to the argument? I'm going to quote Sartre on antisemites:

“Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”


Please don't do ideological flamewar on HN. It's tedious and breaks the site guidelines.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


(I rewrote this comment after the warning)

I think the kind of rationalizing you're doing is not much different from the rationalizing people on the other side of the political spectrum do. I had similar discussions with people from the other side and they argued similarly to you. I think your quote is broadly applicable to both sides as well.


Please don't do ideological flamewar on HN. It's tedious and breaks the site guidelines.

Also, personal attacks, which you crossed into, are not allowed on HN and will get you banned here. Please don't do that again.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I'm sorry, you're right I went to far.


gamergate didn't get 'stronger', gamergate has been over for years, it's just the case that the absurd reaction to the movement created an environment extremely hostile to anything considered 'left' which has now spun out of control.


That's exactly my point.


> But the crux is that these people are not serious (though I'm sure some are),

So which is it? Serious or not? How do we know which is which?

> they're just saying it for the sport of calling the bluff of anonymous people they perceive as trolls or brooding teens.

By what definition of the term is this sport? If anything it's callous, and probably illegal in most jurisdictions.


I don't know about 8chan but

Welp, they're not the same, and /pol/ isn't the same as /b/, or the end of that particular rabbit hole either.


Even /pol/ isn't /pol/. It's a fascinating place in that you can have an openly Neo-Nazi thread right next to the Pro-Zion thread, right next to the Christian thread, followed by the Islam thread. The Yang Gang thread is right next to the MAGA thread which is right next to the Bernies Bros thread.

As much as it is a terrible place, it is also probably the most diverse place in the internet and I sometimes wonder if by exposing each other to diametrically opposed ideas, they temper each other out. I really hope some sort of researcher is archiving it for posterity because I don't think there has ever been an experiment like it.


>I sometimes wonder if by exposing each other to diametrically opposed ideas, they temper each other out.

I mean... you're posting this in a thread about a /pol/ user committing mass murder due to his racist and anti-semitic ideals... and he wasn't even the first to do so.

So... no?


You, can but most of the time you'll have neo-nazi threads next to other neo-nazi threads. Let's look at a sample of the top 50 threads on /pol/ right now (sticky and untitled threads excluded; contains offensive content):

  Dylann Roof's letter to Tucker Carlson
  Who's this Katie Hopkins?
  South Africa
  accept the jews or you will lose
  You're buying cryptocurrency, right anon?
  White men who cant get a white woman should bleach a good looking brown girl.
  Why should we bother?
  DOXX REPORT:ANTIFA MEMBER IN NATIONAL GUARD
  8ch got a search warrant 6 weeks ago (two months)
  Join the marines
  Hungary is BASED
  99 turkroach overflight violations on Greek airspace in a single day.
  /leftypol/ explains why they’re marxists
  Music Video shows White Kids in Cages, Tortured
  /SIG/ Self Improvement General
  Would things be different if America became natsoc instead of Germany? 
  Lesbian NASA Astronaut attack on bus in Camden Town London with her date
  Ontario Anon Goes Shitposting IRL
  homeless anon tip thread
  AJ got framed, again.
  Rockefellers and the Anglo Industrialist Dynasties
  Saint Tarrant pleads NOT guilty!
  RIP Léon Degrelle
  China Cucks to Hong Kong
  Brenton Tarrant Memetic Warfare Thread № XII
  requesting knowledge of the Weimar Republic
  White Victims of Black Crime - Thread #010: Remember lads, subscribe to Pewdiepie
  "Durr Trump is a Jewish sellout!"
  Should the Flyover states just secede From the Union 
  Single Mother Documentary
  New leaked doc shows the USA and trump gets raped by mexican rapists
  The implication of Feminism just being a shittest for society.
  Average jews.
  If We Don't Globally Collapse Within The Next Two Decades, Humanity Is Doomed to Extinction
  Holocaust Is Fake History - 8968
  Paid Shilling Hours
  Druid/pol/ #0032 "Esoteric Operations" edition
  Nick Fuentes sells out to the Jews and tells a Jewish lawyer he denounces anti-semitism
  We lost 4chan
  White males Highest Suicide rates in the Country
  Sol Pais 2nd thread
  Asian hate/redpill thread 2: kill all Asians edition
  Yellow Vests protest for 31st straight week in Paris
  Doctor E.Michael Jones is apparently being blamed for the latest Synagogue Shooting. 
  Was Spanish Caste system the best system
  /ECO GENERAL/ III - Summer Edition
  Trans "rights" are child abuse 
  /pol/ WEBM Thread / MP4 Thread
  /RPG/ Redpill general 
  Antifa wants you to deplatform "fashy farmers"
  On the topic of race and gene editing.
¯\(°_o)/¯


There was this lady that encouraged some weak boy to commit suicide, for the sport as well, and succeeded. It's tricky to find the line between teenage shitposting (hey TSA, my new song is da bomb!) and premediated psychopathic enticement on weak prey to commit something horrible.


The best place to hide bigotry is irony.


With apologies for coarseness:

The Rule of Goats: even if you say you're only fucking goats ironically, you're still a goatfucker

—-Popehat


It's all fun and games until someone gets shot.


Even then, it’s still fun and games if you know where to look these days.


Irony stops being ironic and starts being an honest picture of what you are the moment you start doing it out of habit.


I have no expertise in the legalities here.

But I’ve found that quite often, on the internet, when you think you’ve found a forum of hilarious ironic commenters... a lot of them are very sincere.

Irony is currently used as a conscious strategy by the extreme right. They know that it gets a pass from ordinary people. While permitting the sincere to organize in plain sight.

I don’t know what to do about this, but this is the world we’re living in.


>But I’ve found that quite often, on the internet, when you think you’ve found a forum of hilarious ironic commenters... a lot of them are very sincere.

I mean, I think that’s pretty much how /r/The_Donald started. It started out as satire but over time collected a following of people who weren’t quite in on the joke...


There’s no indication that it started out as satire or ironic trolling.


I first checked it out early on. It seemed ironic and genuinely anti-trump at the time.


I don't know what the original content in it was but the first few posts to really blow up were satirising the Bernie subreddit.

They kept posting these really pathetic "gave my last $20 to the Bernie campaign, don't know how I will feed me and my dog this week, still worth it!" celebrations of poverty and faith, and The Donald parodied the shit out of them. It was hilarious but then a week later The Donald was 50 times more prominent as the Bernie subreddit.


Except that it did? Or it’s possible that you didn’t pick up on it. Satire can be tricky for some people.


I thought that was an actual deliberate part of his campaign? Some of the stuff I read around the time (don't have links now, sorry) seemed to indicate there was astroturfing, anyway.


I remember when The_Donald first came around in the very early days in the run up to the '16 election. I actually subscribed and thought it was hilarious, because I think Donald Trump is pathetic (and I thought he was insignificant at that point).

I suspect that most subscribers were like me, at first. At some point, the tone of the sub reddit took a dramatic shift. It's hard to explain -- it became so serious and so vitriolic. It went from being a joke, to being "wait... we are joking, right?" to being "oh my god these people are serious," within the span of about 1 month.

I would say, for me, that's when the sort of surrealism of our current politics started.

I think this type of joking around is dangerous for that reason, and it really soured me on the concept of 4ch style "ironic" joking. You're flicking the lighter over and over again, and at some point you might find yourself near gasoline.


"Any community that gets its laughs by pretending to be idiots will eventually be flooded by actual idiots who mistakenly believe that they're in good company."

DarkShikari, Hacker News, 2009, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1011498


Wonder if that's the DarkShikari of Eve Online...

Regardless, it's a good quip about the consequences of normalizing the devaluing of intellect.


I believe it was.


OT, but I never knew he was a lead x264 / ffmpeg developer too. Cool!


I wonder what happened to Jason, haven't seen him here or heard from him in ages.


I wonder as well. I did a project with him when I was a teenager and we didn't entirely get along. He was a very talented guy, though, and I wasn't entirely fair to him. I hope he's doing all right.


Even though I didn't know the context of the quote before clicking on the link I knew it had to be about 4chan. It's "fake it till you make it" but towards the negative side.


You see this problem with the 'edge lord' thing, they supposedly don't mean the things they say or the usernames they choose, but it ends up enabling and empowering people who do actually mean those things. It was supposedly all for the lulz, but now it's the actual world we live in.


Placing the blame on a very small but extremely vocal minority is a fallacy. This of course does not absolve them of their share of responsibility, but extreme satire should have a place in our culture.


There should be, I agree.

But I think it comes back to the old adage that “there’s a time and place” for it.

I think that forming a community around roleplaying extreme satire has proven problematic and is not the way to carry it out.


I know, right? I thought mocking male tears and saying KillAllMen was ironic, but now overt lack of empathy for men is normal and encouraged.


Then there are the constant pushere for social controll, who claim to do it for for decency and human kindness, but when the situation boils down the ingredients, you find its mostly because controlling other peoples lives, resources and creations is what they really want.

The radicalisation on 4chan, was produced by all those external echo chamber snuffing out that little speakers corner for weirdos. Reddit, Tumblr, all that comercial ilk, you serve so gladly, which aggregates people by doing the equivalent of a medieval mob ralley - created this nightmare.

Say it with me: "Its very cost effective, to be a radical in a attention economy. I brought this on society to earn a livelihood, and now want to shift the blame towards those places where the polarization i created, becomes most visible, be it a tavern or a brothel. Im a monster and should be hunted down by the monsters i created if there was justice to this world."

Of course if you would ever admit that, all those "nice, constructive people, wanting only the best for people" while blindly shoving there ideology forwards, no matter what the consequences, would become all edgy.


> Then there are the constant pushere for social controll, who claim to do it for for decency and human kindness, but when the situation boils down the ingredients, you find its mostly because controlling other peoples lives, resources and creations is what they really want.

Yeah, with their things like, "Women get bodily autonomy because it's part of the full spectrum of human rights" and "you can't just fire gay people or say they can't be married because you think it's gross" or "maybe inviting someone who openly says women can't contribute to science because they're better off breeding is a bad look for a science conference."

Boy do they sound unreasonable and controlling. They just want your money, clearly.

> The radicalisation on 4chan, was produced by all those external echo chamber snuffing out that little speakers corner for weirdos. Reddit, Tumblr, all that comercial ilk, you serve so gladly, which aggregates people by doing the equivalent of a medieval mob ralley - created this nightmare.

"Mean liberals and corporations radicalized me," is not really that compelling an argument. If we looked at your youtube play history I suspect we'd find a plurality (if not an outright majority) of your time spent is watching lie-merchant radicalizers like Crowder or "skeptical" material.

> Of course if you would ever admit that, all those "nice, constructive people, wanting only the best for people" while blindly shoving there ideology forwards, no matter what the consequences, would become all edgy.

It's not "blindly", the attempt to de-normalize this behavior by shunning it is pretty tactical. It's the least violent way to proceed. It involves saying, "You're not welcome in my house, you're not welcome at my events, and I'm going to do my best within the bounds of the law to see to it you don't profit from my work."

The fact that this is interpreted as folks losing their careers or having their lives ruined is pretty interesting to me. The shoe is on the other foot now, and suddenly people realize that maybe words and ideas can hurt. Suddenly "free speech" (which is a code for, "forbidding social consequences for bad or unfriendly behavior") is very important to folks, many of which not so long ago said that Occupy was unlawfully assembling on public spaces and weren't worth listening to.


I think you should leave sarcasm-laden emotional diatribes like this on more mainstream "right vs left" sites like Reddit and Facebook. Responses like this really don't add anything to the conversation and could be said in about 1/5 the volume you used if you omitted the edgy rhetoric.


Well, I've been on HackerNews for a long time and if you look at my karma score, the vast majority of that (at least 80%) is from user comment moderation.

And this post has a positive score as well. So evidently some folks like the style of writing and find it valuable.

Also, it's telling you didn't (and haven't) said this to other non-left points of view on this thread. Nor does a cursory glance of your search history reveal other such interventions.

So perhaps I will take your affected objectivity with a grain of salt until we have interacted more and I can take your positive intentions at face value.


for being on here for such a long time, I'd expect more mature and seasoned responses for dissenting or unpopular opinions.


Rather, I don't feel the need to baby obviously disingenuous arguments. That, more than anything else, is the hallmark of aforementioned pseudo-intellectual discussion sites that insist that ritualistic, feigned ignorance of context is a necessary virtue.


that sounds a lot like why the drinking age is 21 in the states.

one state moved the age, so all their young partiers moved their binging and drunk driving to neighboring states, who then had to move their drinking ages, until there was national agreement.

if 4chan didn't want all the kicked out weirdos, it should have kicked them out too


Agreed, I too used to enjoy this kind of humor but after seeing what /r/The_Donald turned into it is much harder for me to laugh.


"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."


You could imagine Stephen Colbert (a long time ago on his other show), where everything was just written. Some part of the readers would understand what was going on and others just would not. It would be dependent on the reader’s own contexts and what they think is going on.


Glenn Beck used to host Radio before he was on TV and one of his gimmicks was a thing he called "The Schlub Club".

His show spanned the afternoon and evening hours, so on some days he would announce a preposterous thing and say to the listeners they should call in with comments in support of this thing and goad those who were not in on the joke to take a stand against this preposterous notion that nobody was ever really for.

Those people who got out work and turned on the radio sure we're in for a surprise.

Tampa Bay market ca. 2001. Check WFLA archives if you're curious about this "shtick".


It's called democracy man, even when a lot of people disagree with Trump, there are others who agree with him.


Well, a coordinated effort by Russian disinformation agents might have had something to do with that sudden shift.


Do you actually believe that conspiracy theory? The Mueller report was pretty clear that the disinformation was on both political sides, and Reddit was not a part of any of the activity.


There’s nothing theoretical about the Russian disinformation conspiracy. The likelihood that they weren’t involved with what happened on Reddit seems extremely low. https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/18/mueller-report-ira-interne...


AFAIU Muller didn’t even investigate that. His investigation was solely based around the campaign.


Nearly half of his 300 page report was on "Russian interference" in the Presidential race.


yes Assblaster, I do believe so. The Mueller report was clear but not to you. You should try reading it again to understand what it says.


I thought this was confirmed to be Russian Propaganda


The kekistan flag is a great example. Few people would ironically fly a nazi flag in the real world. But a green version gives them some cover.

For the record I have witnessed people flying this flag in my city. There is no denying they were hate filled racists.


It doesn't matter if these things are said and done ironically. If they are perceived as being serious they become serious.

The debate could only occur as something like "at what point does this become serious". For example does it take newspapers to say so, or your social circle , or is it independent of external influence. Could all jokes be offensive in that way?


It reminds me of the french Quenelle invented by a french humorist a few years ago https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/opinion/deciphering-the-q... https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/world/europe/concern-over...


Intent definitely matters. Freedom of speech protects satire, but doesn't protect threats.


I was actually quite fascinated by the Kek phenomenon for religious reasons - I'm very into alternative/marginal religious movements, so worship of an egyptian chaos god was pretty fascinating to me. I also rather liked the Kekistan flag when it first started, and had no idea it was a palette swapped version of a nazi flag until much later.

Do you think I'm a hate filled racist?


You are aware that mentioning the god Kek is a post-hoc explanation, right? People care about kek-themed stuff because of World of Warcraft. The tie-in to Egyptian mythology was a convenient coincidence.

Regardless, you might not be a hate filled racist. But, a whole lot of hate filled racists use the Kekistan flag as a thinly-veiled symbol of hate filled racism. So, be aware: that's the message conveyed to the world at large when it is shown. Not Egyptian mythology.


You say convenient, I would say significant. 2016 had an unusually paranormal feel to a lot of people, complete with an actual rain of frogs (Pepe wasn't the only frog meme that year as you might recall). The 'meme magic' group in particular was fascinating to me, as it seemed like an evolution of the '80s 'chaos magic' group which I also find fascinating. Only this time, there was actually a relationship with higher powers. That is where the vitality of the movement was when I encountered it, and that is what I found interesting enough to look into further.

I'm disappointed as hell that a secularist wanker like Carl Benjamin successfully co-opted the movement for crass political purposes. But I'm also annoyed that if I tried to re-appropriate the same symbology for the optimistic, metaphysics-exploring group of pranksters that meme'd it to relevance, I'd get called a bigot for associating with the wrong people.

Any group is defined by its lowest common denominators, which is why I and so many people I respect try to seek out smaller subcultures. The trouble I'm seeing is that when a large group like the nationalist right wants to co-opt a smaller but more effective movement, the larger group's rivals refuse to acknowledge any distinction between the different subcomponents, even if those subcomponents disagree on everything that's objectionable about the larger group to begin with. It's bad for the interesting subcultures and it's bad tactics for the larger ones to unite rather than divide their opposition.

Now I'd best go take my own advice and send happy thoughts to those members of the globalist left who like to garden.


It's a strange turn of events, especially when you consider the long-standing ties between chaos magick culture and strongly left spheres, like the Beat movement, cacophony society, and industrial subculture. Of course the early internet had much of this anarchic influence and hacker culture has been colored by anti-establishment, disruptive and radically progressive ideas, in particular radical free speech. "You can't stop the signal". This is a big part of the background early 4chan spawned from.

Now it's fascinating to see the alt-right and fascist-lite communities, fundametally authority-based philosophies, try to co-opt ideas like chaos and "meme magick".

On one hand, it seems what started as a joke/critique of fascist ideology steeped i heavy irony, has moved on while being picked up unironically. On the other hand, it's getting ever harder to tell the difference between genuine beliefs and those parodying them, once obvious satire has gotten boring, and the only way to get a rise is to make a more convincing charicature of the target.


This tactic of appropriation for political ends is sometimes referred to as entryism, and while it's not confined to any one ideology I think the right is somewhat better at it because it's consonant with the idea of machtpolitik and gaining territory by seizure. Given the difficulty and costs involved in contesting physical territory, securing virtual territory (from dominating a forum to 'owning' a particular word or phrase) is a necessary precursor to control of a larger battle space.


Interesting observation. Globalism includes ideas, as small interesting ideas grow the established more powerful and exploitive ideas can absorb the meme momentum then reassociate the imagery and ideas as their own.


>So, be aware: that's the message conveyed to the world at large when it is shown.

This has gotten completely insane.

If anyone has followed the Tesla/TESLAQ saga, at one point people on Twitter were decorating their avatars with clowns, mocking Elon. Well it turns out, according to the crazy left, that clowns are symbols for Nazism. Did you know that? I didn't. Tesla fans were literally accusing Tesla doubters of being White Supremacists, because clowns.


>at one point people on Twitter

Here's your problem. You're following immature overexcited crazies on twitter and trying to extrapolate to "the world at large".

>Well it turns out, according to the crazy left, that clowns are symbols for Nazism.

Context matters. Is the "ok hand" gesture a symbol of white supremacy? Plainly not. But when the Christchurch shooter flashed it in court to the cameras, was it then a symbol of white supremacy? Of course it was. Such nuance is lost on some people (or rather it is not lost, and they know full well what they're meaning but fall back on that lame excuse as a cowardly cover).

>Tesla fans

>Tesla doubters

What is this immature, playground-level shit?


>Here's your problem. You're following immature overexcited crazies on twitter and trying to extrapolate to "the world at large".

The same arguments appear on these very forums. Of course, you're probably above it.

>Such nuance is lost on some people

Once again, the enlightened ones explaining it to us deplorables. I think the nuance is lost on you: the symbol has become an ironic joke for these people.

>What is this immature, playground-level shit?

Calling people fans and skeptics of a business is "playground-level shit"? Boy, life must be tough when you're intellectually superior to everyone around you.


Have you got some sort of inferiority complex? Your three replies are all: "what, you think you're better than me?" No, I don't, and I didn't imply that. What's your point?

I don't even know how to reply to you... You didn't address any of my points, and tried to paint my reply as claiming I'm superior to you.


>> Tesla fans

>> Tesla doubters

> What is this immature, playground-level shit?

Twitter.


It's the easiest way to discredit literally any idea or any person. Just mention Nazi Germany or Hitler or SS or anything like that, and you don't need any arguments or anything else afterwards.

Note that the person doesn't even have to agree with the politics of National-Socialist Germany or anything close it.

Cause now the one attacked has the burden of proof, otherwise s/he'll forever be known as Nazi.

In a nutshell, that's it.


> Do you think I'm a hate filled racist?

...Being fascinated in the Kek phenomenon is very different from going to the trouble of obtaining a physical version of the flag of Kekistan and flying it in public. Do you do this?


Given that he isn't racist and doesn't consider Kek to be racist, what would be the problem with flying the flag? Look at https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/kekistan, it looks like a joke that is being taken way too seriously.


It's meant to look like a joke on the surface. I was a big fan of the "feels good man" comic (Pepe the frog) but I wouldn't deny that it's been co-opted by the far right. Also, kekistan is a way worse joke than "feels good man".


So if extremists start using a symbol, everyone else has to stop using it and let them have it? Wouldn't it be preferable to ignore the extremists so they don't get the symbol, and the symbol isn't ruined?


The swastika is forever ruined. If you fly a swastika in nearly any occasion then "nazi" is going to be the interpretation, not any of the myriad previous meanings.


Symbolism is just another form of communication. And like language I imagine one has to evolve with it or be left out of touch or misunderstood.


>So if extremists start using a symbol, everyone else has to stop using it and let them have it?

If extremists start using a symbol, non-extremists have to accept that they might be associated with those extremists by continuing to use it.

>Wouldn't it be preferable to ignore the extremists so they don't get the symbol, and the symbol isn't ruined?

That's not how it works. They're using the symbol anyway, so it gets ruined anyway. Ignoring the Nazis would not have had prevented them from owning the meaning of the swastika in the Western world, to use the obvious example.


>If extremists start using a symbol, non-extremists have to accept that they might be associated with those extremists by continuing to use it.

This quickly becomes insane, like with the 'OK' handsign, including the decades old 'circle game', neither of which has any connection to racism other than what desperate mainstream media portrays in search of clicks.

4chan trolling never had it so easy.


>This quickly becomes insane, like with the 'OK' handsign, including the decades old 'circle game', neither of which has any connection to racism other than what desperate mainstream media portrays in search of clicks.

Those are also all minor blips on the cultural radar no one will care about in a few months time. What matters are the symbols with any cultural weight or staying power.


>no one will care about in a few months time.

Because it will have been replaced with another symbol that is now suddenly being portrayed as racist due to click-bait fueled hysteria. Enough already.


In the world we live in, I don't know that I would make snap calls about what symbols will last more than a few months and which won't. In our current memetic climate things may appear to move faster, but getting to the top (news outlets reporting a meme) has a lot of staying power and reverberation that people should not take for granted.


Neither of which had any connection to racism until hard core racists started using it. 'Trolling' isn't an excuse once a certain level of awareness exists. The Christchurch shooter was making the OK sign in court during his arraignment to signal to his frens on 8ch, to their great delight; yet here you are pretending it is all just a media panic and that there is no particular correlation with the far-right, just because there didn't used to be.


>If extremists start using a symbol, non-extremists have to accept that they might be associated with those extremists by continuing to use it.

This is exactly what these people want. There are campaigns to make the pride rainbow a hate symbol, the communist flag a hate symbol and no doubt numerous others.

You have fallen for it and they are laughing at you for that.


You have fallen for it and they are laughing at you for that.

They? You are the one asserting other HN posters making a reasonable observation have 'fallen for it'.


>You have fallen for it and they are laughing at you for that.

What have I fallen for, exactly? What's the trick?

Some people already consider the pride rainbow and communist flags to be hate symbols. White supremacists do use coded language and shibboleths online. My comment was simply a statement of fact - the meaning of symbols can be affected by cultural and political influence and can change over time.

That some fools have tried to turn that fact into a meme, or that the media can easily be baited into a moral panic, doesn't make it any less true.


The trick is that by taking every symbol that had positive influence and making it a hate symbol, it's showing that you're a fool for naively associating Symbol A with hate, and are merely acting as a knee jerk reactionary without understanding the underlying context.

If you did understand it, you'd realize trying to stomp out or prevent what is going on is a fool's errand. You can't extinguish the idea; because on each success on your part, a metamorphosis will happen elsewhere, utilizing some other innocuous symbol.

You need to get to the root of the matter; which is apparently a marginalized segment of your population being squeezed to the point violence and hate seems the only way forward.

Which is a rather ugly state of affairs, as it means society as a whole has already lost. It is infrequent that a population pushed to the brink of violence becomes anything more than a bloody footnote in the history books in need of some form of whitewashing for the future.


a marginalized segment of your population being squeezed to the point violence and hate seems the only way forward

There's a name for ascribing responsibility for one's own emotional states to other people. NEETs aren't inherently right wing, and if this were really a phenomenon involving an oppressed minority, where is the prosocial behavior aiming to evoke solidarity from other minorities? Deciding that the Nazis were right after all and the last 80 years of western history (or 160 for Confederacy LARPers) constitute an elaborate plot to make one group of people worse off is getting into delusional territory.


Even the "wehraboo's" and "Confederate LARPers" aren't what they are on the surface. A sibling poster mentioned 2016'ish being some sort of seminal formation date for them; it isn't hard to realize that in the current day and Age, the net allows for the reach of those with sabotage or ideological undermining to be even wider than ever before.

Undercurrents existed at one point, yet the flames were fanned by the increasing utilization of online media to increase visibility. One will absolutely not stop that.

Furthermore, the phenomena of placing blame on others for current emotional states isn't necessarily that far off. Mental/memetic contagion is a well known phenomena; it seems to be fundamental to how information transfer works.

The issue regarding contagion though, is that there is a model which currently exists with regard to thought and behavior that largely downplays the pliability of individuals and vulnerability to external influences on their reasoning. We see this philosophy in our justice system espoused time after time. X is a bad apple. X can never change. X should be removed from society. Preaching of this model weakens our most vulnerable populations. They end up never developing any sort of memetic immune system, or framework to guard against entirely rhetorical or emotional form of attack or influence.

Of course, that all assumes that there was a solid foothold gained in the first place development wise.


Astute. Although I spend a great deal of tiem railing against certain extremists the underlying problem is our poor understanding of the dynamics of social contagion even as it is being avidly weaponized. Cross platform transference is particularly understudied and hard to study due to the competitive nature of the industry and other factors. Feel free to drop me a line if you're interested in conversing further.


>The trick is that by taking every symbol that had positive influence and making it a hate symbol, it's showing that you're a fool for naively associating Symbol A with hate, and are merely acting as a knee jerk reactionary without understanding the underlying context.

I personally didn't, though. I'm neither naive, nor am I a knee-jerk reactionary. But the underlying context is that idiots on the net pretending to be Nazis want Symbol A to be associated with hate, they're just doing so as a joke.

So, yes, while some people are reacting like that, they're not entirely foolish for doing so, or entirely wrong, because hate groups will probably embrace Symbol A unironically, because they're part of the same community, and they're taking the piss at the trolls the way the trolls are taking the piss at everyone else, and it being a meme gives them plausible deniability.

And then someone shoots up a synagogue and burns down a mosque.

And somehow it's still everyone's fault but those crazy kids on the chans with their wacky hijinks.

It's not 2008 anymore.

>You need to get to the root of the matter; which is apparently a marginalized segment of your population being squeezed to the point violence and hate seems the only way forward.

If by "get to the root of," you mean "sympathize with and concede to the agenda of," then no. They are not marginalized, nor is their violence and hate justified.

>It is infrequent that a population pushed to the brink of violence becomes anything more than a bloody footnote in the history books in need of some form of whitewashing for the future.

They haven't been pushed to the brink of violence. That narrative sprung, fully formed and fully clothed, as propaganda from the populist movements of the US and Europe, and in particular from the viral efforts around Trump's campaign, but they've always been around, and always been violent, and always been hateful.


>I personally didn't, though. I'm neither naive, nor am I a knee-jerk reactionary. But the underlying context is that idiots on the net pretending to be Nazis want Symbol A to be associated with hate, they're just doing so as a joke.

You're sure acting like one. Albeit one who actually bothers to try to elucidate their case; which I do appreciate.

>So, yes, while some people are reacting like that, they're not entirely foolish for doing so, or entirely wrong, because hate groups will probably embrace Symbol A unironically, because they're part of the same community, and they're taking the piss at the trolls the way the trolls are taking the piss at everyone else, and it being a meme gives them plausible deniability.

Given. I don't see anything necessarily wrong with the dynamic aside from the fact you're still falling into the ideological trap I mentioned previously.

>And then someone shoots up a synagogue and burns down a mosque.

>And somehow it's still everyone's fault but those crazy kids on the chans with their wacky hijinks.

So everyone on the Chan's are psychopaths looking to shoot up mosques? Now who is starting to sound extremist?

>It's not 2008 anymore.

It most certainly isn't. In 2008, no one in their right mind would endorse outright suppressing discourse to the level people do today. I don't see that being the fault of "those crazy kids on the Chans". I see it as a result of an increasingly technologically savvy oppressive majority starting to tighten the noose around populations they consider problematic and not worth trying to rehabilitate/understand/integrate.. But hey, what do I know?

I've just been observing the phenomena in action for the last decade or so, and how whenever the Chan's are brought up by the mainstream media, it's as some sort of internet based cesspool of evil instead of as just what it is; a glorified bulletin board.


Following that example, what if the Nazis used the letter 'x' as their symbol? Some non-Nazis might be associated with them by using the letter, but surely that effect can be diluted if everyone continues to use the letter as normal.

And is the letter 'x' really ruined? The swastika wasn't ruined for many Eastern cultures as its original meaning was widely known.


The letter x as a symbol already has widespread use and an accepted, common meaning in the Western world, but the swastika really didn't until the Nazis appropriated it. Which is why Nazis probably wouldn't appropriate the letter x because its power as a symbol had already been diluted.

Also, a symbol can be ruined locally and not ruined globally. The swastika wasn't ruined for Eastern cultures, but it was definitely ruined for everyone but Nazis everywhere else. If Buddhists decided to get together to try to "reclaim" the swastika for its original peaceful intent, they would fail utterly, even though they have a perfectly rational and defensible case.


It's been done. You just gotta use two 'x's.

http://images.amcnetworks.com/ifccenter.com/wp-content/uploa...


As a matter of fact they recently tried something along those lines by creating a bunch of 'fashtag' memes designed to assert that the # sign was a cryptic Hitler reference, complete with fake warning memes designed to look like they came from the ADL, SPLC, antifa etc. and create the appearance of a backlash, in hopes of drawing media attention to a manufactured controversy.

It didn't work well, both because it was such an obviously forced meme and because they got so carried away that they burned a large number of sockpuppet accounts.


It's probably not too surprising they're not as good at this as Chaplin but at the same time, it does seem to work.

Tptacek's "It's hard to have too much sympathy for people who casually evoke "Kek" and then are shocked to learn people believe them to be white supremacists." made my brain spin in my skull and had me reading sewage-filled Wikipedia pages on a Saturday (of Souls, no less).


That somebody thinks it’s a funny joke doesn’t cancel out somebody else purposefully using it as a hate symbol knowing that other members of their sick cult know what they really mean.


I didn't, but in the early days I might have. There was a real divide at one time between the LN new atheist types who just wanted to score cheap political points and the CN meme magicians who took the whole 'avatar of chaos' thing very seriously. I kind of regret not throwing more of my weight to the side I think would have moved our dialogue forward, but realistically I don't suppose it matters.


Have you heard much from the Discordians lately? You seem like someone who might have intersection with their circles.

Not a bad thing at all, I've just not run into them in so long.


Never met a practising discordian who called themselves that, though I've met Subgenii and chaos magicians. I'm currently reading the Illuminatus! trilogy that supposedly kicked that movement off, but I only know about that through Steve Jackson Games' frequent references.

I don't know whether they're hiding or gone, it doesn't seem like a movement that would be big on recruiting so who knows?..


Wasn't 'kek' just a riff off of 'lel' which itself was a riff off of 'lol'?

I figured someone just off-by-one'd 'lel' and thought it sounded funny. top kek


In world of Warcraft, if you are an alliance race and a member of the horde is speaking to you in area chat, the text is mangled to simulate the fact that the different factions do not understand each other’s languages. “Kek” is how “lol” showed up in the chat every time. So kek became synonymous with lol.


It has a slightly longer history than WoW.

In the original Starcraft, the Korean version of "Hahaha" is "ㅋㅋㅋ". Owing to the fact that the English version of the game didn't support Korean text, the represented text of a Korean player saying "ㅋㅋㅋ" was "kekeke."

This became an early meme of sorts and caught on. Blizzard honored that in WoW by adding the kek/lol translation.


Related trivia: If you're horde and an alliance player says "lol" it comes across as "bur".


>Do you think I'm a hate filled racist?

Context matters. Are you interested in the flag for those reasons? Then probably not. Are you flying it at a protest, in a faux innocent schoolboy sense of "noo, it's not a nazi flag, see, it's a kek flag, teehee'? Then probably yes.


The swastika also has a fascinating religious history, and has deep meaning to people throughout Asia. You'd have a hard time explaining that as a reason to fly a Nazi flag in the US, and few people would be interested in a complaint about people being close-minded about what the swastika represents. You could display a Buddhist swastika, but you'd have to be very careful of how you presented it and the context in which it was presented.

It's hard to have too much sympathy for people who casually evoke "Kek" and then are shocked to learn people believe them to be white supremacists.


I find the act of displaying a flag publicly to be passive aggressive in itself. I grew up in America where the flag was used as a way to force people to unify (remember post 9/11?) and then I moved to Germany where the only time I’ve seen flags displayed publicly are for sports teams, either local or national, and only for the length of the competition.

Having been away from the blatant flag waving for so long, it really jumps out at me now when I visit America occasionally. It’s not just that flags are a pride thing, it’s that they’re trying to draw attention to the pride a person has. But why should I care about their pride? Why force me to notice it?


Agreed.

The flag in USA appears to be used for 'brainwashing' (compliance training). "I swear allegiance to the flag" and all that, then they use the flag as the backdrop when politicians talk to you, and use it as a symbol wherever compliance without opposition is required?!

Union Flag flyers in the UK seem to be royalist or fascists; or possibly just sportsmen.


The fash over here just uses the England flag. Often for some reason with ENG LAND written on it (perhaps they're so thick that they need reminding?)


Here in the UK there was a period when the Union Jack was hijacked by the far right (notably the British National Party and the National Front). They made prominent use of the flag in everything they did, so people avoided displaying it in other contexts because doing so would be seen as a coded statement of support for the far right.


I just got back from my first real trip to the UK, and while I was there (in the Cotswolds and south) I saw a handful of the red-cross-on-white English flags at various places. It wasn't clear, and I'd be curious to know, if that meant "Fuck the union, we will rise up!" or simply "You are currently in England."


In rural England the English flag has almost no political connotations on the part of people that fly it. It basically means the second one. For example almost every village church will fly it. They have probably been doing so in some cases for 500 years and don't give the political implications any thought.

It is slightly evocative of a kind of gentle conservatism which has mild undercurrents of racism/xenophobia for some people because rural England is overwhelmingly white and slightly old fashioned. (People call this "Jam and Jerusalem")

Basically it reminds people of the village council from Hot Fuzz.

(Source: grew up in Dorset)

Completely separately to this is has a recent history (80s) where it can be seen almost like a Confederate Flag in some contexts. It was aggressively adopted by fascists and also the subject of a tabloid conspiracy where they suggested immigrants hated it so people started flying it as an anti immigrant "this is our land" type thing.

This isn't the context you saw it in, but it's impossible to completely disentangle this new meaning, everyone is aware of it.


It's definitely a signifier of poor taste.


> mild undercurrents of racism/xenophobia for some people because rural England is overwhelmingly white and slightly old fashioned

The people of an area are mostly white and that makes them racist? Do you think black people in mostly-black areas are racist too or is it only racist to be white?


I don't know, I've never been black or a part of a overwhelmingly black community.


Good to know you only form opinions based on anecdotal evidence.


Is this your first day in human society? A user asked for an explanation of a highly nuanced aspect of rural English culture and I gave an answer based on my actual life lived in that culture.

There is no way to get from my comment to your comment without bringing a mountain of your own pet grievances and preconceptions to the table.


OK, so it's more that you've observed this mostly white area to be mildly racist (which seems reasonable), rather than saying that this area is mostly white and therefore mildly racist (which is how I read your post above.)


You're probably overanalysing. Sure, flags of the different parts of the UK are popular with separatists (though English nationalists, unlike Scottish or Welsh ones, tend not to be particularly opposed to the Union) but they're also the "you're currently in England/Scotland/Wales", and the "you can watch the football/rugby in this pub" flags. Probably there were a few county flags or local coats of arms on tourist sites and public buildings too.

As proper flag-based protests in the UK go, it'd be difficult to beat the bizarre sight of Cornish fishing boats and villages being covered with Canadian maple leaves back in the mid 90s when Cornish fishermen backed the Canadian side of a fishing dispute...


Well its complicated....

It used to mean (80s/90s) that you are on the right of politics and not keen on immigration.

However, because the UK does not have one Soccer team (England/Wales/Scotland/N.Ireland) If there is a major soccer tournament on the red cross is used to represent England team and support for that team - from a wider diverse proportion of the population.

It fluctuates between the two meanings, as things like Brexit ("We will rise up!" and Sport tournaments ("You are currently in England") happen.


It's relatively common for people during important world sporting events to fly the English flag, so it might be for the Women's World Cup which England are tipped to do well in. Of course, outside of important world sporting events the flag is generally seen flown by English nationalists and white supremisists, at least that's what I've generally seen.


Denmark loves flags... 🇩🇰



I think Germany itself is a perfect answer to your question. One thing you start to see over and over in politics is Newton's Third - for every action there's an equal but opposite reaction. Germany took an an overwhelmingly sharp anti-nationalist turn, and what happened? Now we see things like the AfD (far right/nationalist party for those unaware) going from a niche little party that couldn't even qualify for the electoral threshold to the second most popular party in the nation, the #1 in east Germany. And similar things have been happening throughout Europe.

People being unified within a nation is a very good thing. And being unified does not mean believing the same thing. There have always been extremely divisive politics in the US. You only need look at our money - the man on the $10 bill was killed by the vice president of the man on the nickel in a duel. But when people start to become mutually exclusive, or when a nation itself goes too far in one direction, or the other, it results in a sharp counter movement in the opposite direction. It's important that people ultimately view themselves as part of a whole, even if they might strongly disagree with one another. A flag is the most fundamental representation of that whole. The alternative tends to trend towards widescale conflict which rarely has a happy ending for anybody.


> [...] to the second most popular party in the nation

The Afd came in fourth in the last election (European Parliament, just about a month ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_European_Parliament_elect...) with 11%. That's a far cry from taking over the nation, and they seem to be past their peak.

I also don't get the logic how strongly condemning the Holocaust is supposedly a reason for their success. How is your neighbours not loving the flag any justification for hating foreigners, women, and the free press?

Anyway, there are many other countries without Germany's specific history, a long tradition of jingoistic patriotism, and still they have far stronger far-right parties today, i. e. France, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, the UK, Finland, Greece etc. etc.


I feel like you're being downvoted for the first sentence, so let me try to elaborate on your point. That's the entire deal of fascists: take something that has no negative connotation and give it one. It's how they make their way to the public space.

It started with swastikas, but there are other, way more recent examples: Pepe started as a meme, "kek" started as a meme. They didn't stop there, of course, they have a bunch of failed examples: they've tried to own rainbow flags ("each race in its own space"), OK emoji ("it's okay to be white"), the term antifa (appropriated to some imaginary paramilitary group instead of an actual definition of anti-fascists), and even the fucking # (this one is especially dumb).

An OK emoji on its own doesn't mean anything. NZ shooter showing the OK sign in court does: https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article14142992.ece/AL...

So, when you look at the example of someone using these signs, you need to search through their history to see the context. They know their views are unacceptable by the general public, their entire deal is to be on the brick of plausible deniability and then laugh at people who call them out. That's why "everyone's a nazi" is a meme. They want the term "nazi" gone. It's not difficult to see why, since "nazi" was always an insult to fascists. Their attempt at appropriation of the term "antifa" is them trying to do the same for the complete opposite. It's also why they tend to have more profiles: one pretty obviously fascist, and multiple profiles in which they pretend that they're someone else (women, people of color, LGBT+ etc.) while spewing fascist talking points and retaining plausible deniability.

Outright banning just the symbols goes in their favor. In their recent crackdown, YouTube decided to remove almost every video showing swastikas. Of course, you'll rarely see a fascist openly using swastikas. It's those debunking them, laughing at them, and looking at their history that had their videos removed, while they go on and on with "YouTube is leftist and no leftist content ever gets removed".


> That's the entire deal of fascists: take something that has no negative connotation and give it one. It's how they make their way to the public space. > ... even the fucking # (this one is especially dumb).

No, the "fashtag" is a great example. The trolls are trying to exploit paranoia about dogwhistles. Their goal is not to make fascists use the hashtag, but to laugh at (hypothetical) people who avoid hashtags because of internet hearsay that it might be a secret nazi symbol.

It takes two to tango - this particular kind of trolling doesn't work (and didn't work in the case of the fashtag) when we relax a little about dogwhistles. I won't let them take away my feelsbadman.jpg.


> this particular kind of trolling doesn't work (and didn't work in the case of the fashtag) if we all relax a little about dogwhistles.

No, that's exactly when it works. They aren't doing it to laugh at reactions as an end goal, the mockery exists entirely to delegitimize attention paid to racist/fascist dogwhistles, whose whole purpose is to get paid attention to by the target audience but ignored by the wider audience, which doesn't work when the wider audience is sensitized to and vigilant against them.


To stick with the pepe example: It only works as a dogwhistle now because everyone but Frog Twitter has stopped using it. If the rest of the world had shrugged and kept using it, then it wouldn't be a political symbol now.

I think this is the same mechanism as in the euphemism treadmill[1], where it's not clear if it's better to avoid a word or to double down on it (but in a proud/positive way). There doesn't seem to be a consensus about how to deal with the euphemism treadmill either.

[1] https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Euphemism#Euphemism_treadmill


You're absolutely right. I've seen memes about the "fashtag", including the ones that do their best to attach it some meaning, but that meaning was so stupid that I didn't even bother remembering it. It's a dogwhistle for the sake of dogwhistles.


Funny you should mention that: https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article23149722...

This guy initially tried to play dumb and play it off as maybe-Buddhist but didn't scrub his social media of holocaust memes.


They appear to be talking about the ones which they saw flying that flag where they lived. As in, some specific persons.

I didn’t interpret it as a claim that all persons who have liked that flag are “hate filled racists”.


> Do you think I'm a hate filled racist?

You are now aware that this is a copy of a nazi flag. If you decide to raise this flag today, I would have to say yes.

If I told you now there is a secret hand signal white supremacists are using then tomorrow you begin using it, then I would safely be able to assume the same.

> had no idea it was a palette swapped version of a nazi flag

It is not very difficult to see. If your love of this flag is "piss people off" then maybe you are willingly blind.


My question was, what if I was already using the hand signal in your example and I refused to stop just because I learned white supremicists were doing the same?

Genuine question.


It's only a joke till there aren't enough supporters


>There is no denying they were hate filled racists.

And you know this how, exactly?

To the left, everyone with a different opinion is a racist or Nazi. It's losing all meaning.


> And you know this how, exactly?

I met them in person and spoke to them.


Oh, so you left out the fact that you had a conversation with this group of racists, in which they espoused their racist views to you, yet left that part out of your comment, and instead attributed their obvious racism to a joke flag?

#thathappen


No. It's a little more complex than that.

They did in fact claim the flag was a joke and that they were flying it out of "irony" and to "piss off liberals". They didn't overtly express racists views. But the language they used and their dress leaves no doubt.


There was a dutch documentary about kekistan, where they interviewed one of the creators. If i remember correctly it was giving a rather nice insight into the phenomena.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97FGbbTzJZ4 (subtitles, Interview from 3:54 onword)

Just assuming everyone with a Kekistanflag is a Nazi is making it to easy on yourself. Sure seeing something as black and white is easy, but if you work under an assumption that isnt correct your aimed result will also naturally be different then expected.

edit: And the reaction is telling. Not trying to understand your enemy is one of the stupid things anyone can do and a core reason why our society goes to shit hard. You assume what they want and they assume what you want. You can act as if they are all Nazis and guess what, after a while they will act that way. I doubt you could have made the far right a better present then the behavior of the past years.


I'd be seriously interested in why this is downvoted so much... I thought, the documentary was quite intresting and balanced.


For one, where is the assumption drawn that OP determined they were his enemy?

OP described traits they carried and presented to the world, nothing more.

In my case, I wouldn’t consider that kind of person my enemy. I pity them, though. I think it’s sad, and it the traits come out of pain and a life not examined with honesty.


Its an edit concerning the downvotes, I wouldnt assume someone not downvoting the initial post would necessarily share that viewpoint. If you find something wrong with the initial post i would be happy about the feedback to see where i can improve.


The notion that when a group or person is accused of being racist/fascist it inevitably makes them then embrace that ideology is just not credible. Denouncing racism is easy enough to do, but they didn’t, or they did insincerely.

The alt right sells victimhood as a reason to be part of their in group. It’s constantly pushed that white males are under attack. They aren’t.


It is a tactical issue. The old approach of exclusion, isolation and public shaming was formerly used against Neonazis in Europe. Against people of the likes of the KKK or simply people who either didnt believe the holocaust happened or found it to be a great idea. And it worked rather well because of the size of the group you are trying to stop is rather small.

By now the list of things that can lead to expulsion shaming and isolation grew. And dont get me wrong, I dont think its necessary to discuss about the approach being justified or not. But If you are trying to exclude and shame large parts of the population, the effectiveness of that tactic decreases rapidly. What it does is it creates an ingroup effect among the people at risk of public shaming and it normalizes formerly untouchable topics. It reduced the effectiveness of the tactic massively. You can see it in Trumpvoters and recently the appointment of Kavanaugh as a supreme court judge. Wanna gues for how many being called a bigot, racist, sexist or a Nazi is nothing but a badge of honor? A common phrase is "If xyz means I am a racist, then maybe I am. They called yzx the same." We have large parts of society for which political corectness or social justice are derogatory terms. We have, not just in the US but also in Europe, a rapid rise of far right groups who utilize the approach of isolation and shaming to create ingroup effects. In Europe its manly bound to the refugee crisis a few years ago. Where the far right succeeded in mobilizing around "What you are no longer allowed to say". And what you can witness is people getting suckered in with critique on the lacking organization to deal with the refugee influx and once they are in they easily fall back to the groups far right rhetoric on other issues. Its especially obvious if you look at interviews with people in Pegida rallies in Germany. They answer with their opinion on broad questions why they are here and fall back to the groups rhetoric on topics they havent thought about yet. And once they articulated that stance in front of a camera or towards their friends and family most people feel rightfully committed.

Using the tactic of expulsion and shaming against large parts of society is incredibly dangerous. In Germany we are speaking about 15 to 20% voters for a new far right group, who will likely become the strongest party in many east German states. And I am sorry to remind you, but in the US the group is currently the majority party placing the president. To reiterate on the point, you cant exclude the majority in a country. What you are doing is normalizing racism, sexism and being a straight up Nazis.

The expulsion and shaming tactic was an absolute last resort against people where trying to argue with them was seen as an pointless endeavor. You dont talk to to Nazis, you show up in force on their every last rally and get them fired from their jobs. The oldschool Antifa approach. And its a tactic you have to be very careful in applying. Leaving aside aside a critique on this deeply authoritarian approach, what you are doing is giving up hope to convince these people, you are trying to rear/educate/train them instead by negative feedback. If that is your tactic, you better be sure that you are powerful enough to actually do that. Which isnt the case currently by a large margin. It might work in individual sectors but not with society as a whole. Trying to exclude and shame large parts of society is pushing for a power struggle with the confidence that you are powerful enough to come up on top. Thats simply not the case, quite the contrary. (And the far right is aware of that, simply take a look at the documentary above and Jordan Petersons comment on Identity politics https://youtu.be/97FGbbTzJZ4?t=1593 or more precisely 26:48)The tactic is not just unproductive, its actively counterproductive. You are not just creating a strong coherent group with exactly the attributes you wanted to get rid of, you are also alienating quite a few of potential allies by utilizing this authoritarian and anti free speech approach. Its the whole problem of the urban guerilla again. Focusing on the justification for a tactic and ignoring its real world effect. You simply dont get points for being in the right.

>The alt right sells victimhood as a reason to be part of their in group. It’s constantly pushed that white males are under attack. They aren’t.

Which doesnt matter if they can convince their voterbase that its happening. And a broad approach of exclusion and shaming works to convince these people that exactly this is happening.

And you shouldnt kid yourself, while large parts of "the left" is retreating more and more into echo chambers forgetting how to actually convince people instead of forcing adherence, the far right is out there doing exactly that. You just have to look towards groups like the Identitarian movement who are creating a vast array of easy to access material and discussion guidelines on how to convince people. Hoping to solve that by banning hatespeech is insane.


I would just add that there is a third "aspect" or "color" to this stuff besides "this is the most absurd irony" and "we definitely believe this hatefully bs". That aspect is "we don't necessarily believe this stuff but look, we've discovered dynamite in a bottle." It's something like "trollocracy" - "by believing anything and saying anything, we're amazing influential and we can use that influence in a calculated way."

But that third attitude isn't something distinct from original fascism. One might say the ideas of fascists from the start involved something like "use your illusions".


> They know that it gets a pass from ordinary people. While permitting the sincere to organize in plain sight.

This is sometimes called a dog whistle. The pitch is too high for humans to hear, but the intended targets do pick up on it.


I suspect that some so called dog whistles are a form of conspiracy theory. "It's not viable in plain sight but take my in depth research on the matter to heart".


Dog whistle examples are not even obscure. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys


It certainly is an attractive idea for the conspiracy minded. Heck, it doesn't even take conspiracy mindedness. Just anyone hoping to see something.

At the same time, it seems feasible as a concept and quite useful.


Well if someone says this and actually provides supporting evidence then what's the problem?


>I suspect that some so called dog whistles are a form of conspiracy theory.

Of course, only the enlightened few can pick up on it and explain it to the rest of us goons.


Why would you ever want to do something about that?

That is the beauty of free speech. The humorous and playful gives cover to the toxic and harmful, which in turn gives cover to undesired truths and the champions of the suppressed.

A pair of jeans that are not faded, and are clean and crisp, have not been lived in. It doesn’t mean that a faded and torn pare of jeans aren’t just a facade. But a community that lacks the undesirable is necessarily one that lacks the freedom to be undesirable. That would be far worse.


And that extends to people organizing specific plans to murder others? Because that’s what this warrant says was being done on 8chan


>That is the beauty of free speech.

There is absolutely nothing beautiful about it and there is negative utility in allowing it to proliferate. It actively causes resource usage and damage that is unnecessary and totally avoidable.


The problem is that while most of them aren't, some of them are. If you doubt the sincerity, just observe /b/ for a day. It's filled with fiction, but yeah, every so often you see something that looks real.


How do you know? What trains this feedback loop other than your own perception?


>How do you know?

Two ways :

1) Staggeringly rare real-world events are reported frequently -- so a good number of them, by virtue of their rarity in real life, must be false. There are daily threats of wide-scale violence, but only a very small percentage of these threats turn into a real event.

2) The impossible is often reported. These comments can be thrown away at face value by most people -- besides maybe the most dedicated 'researchers' (Alien abduction, magic , general occultism woo).

Now, if you're asking 'How do you know which threats are false?', that's a much more difficult question, and i'd be surprised if there was a generalizable 'answer', aside from full-on mind-reading.


one pretty obvious fact would be the adoption of "chan-slang" by people who have turned entirely serious in their advocacy of those extremist views, with they themselves openly advocating that those were the channels on which they were radicalised. A similar dynamic is playing out on youtube, as a recent ex-member of this subculture attests:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/08/technology/yo...


A lot of it is also old-fashioned trolling.

For example, there’s occasional moral panics about white supremacist dog-whistles, like Pepe the frog or the hand gesture. Of course, it’s also the hand gesture for a three point shot in basketball, so you have all kinds of sarcastic “Steph Curry is a white supremacist” memes about it. (Dog whistles in general are, 80% of the time, a moral panic anyway.)

I don’t know if this is how that particular gesture got that association, but trolls (who are possibly white supremacists) will sometimes deliberately invent absurdly innocuous dog whistles, like the phrase “it’s OK to be white”, just to provoke the moral panic from the other side and to force them into absurd rhetorical positions. The metagame being that, maybe they actually are white supremacist dog whistles, depending on how ironically the coiners of them adhere to white supremacism.

There’s a similar reaction in some left-wing circles, eg the “misandrist” sphere of Tumblr, which seems partly comprised of feminists who ironically claim the term “misandry” because they are accused of it by their opponents and also partly composed of feminists who unironically hate men.

It’s not just political either. I kind of suspect a lot of the conspiracy or flat earth stuff is just disingenuous trolling or LARPing. I mean, some people are kooks, but other people just pretend to be for fun.


Another aspect of trolling is that even the most grounded observations of the popularity and possible import of such dog whistles can be dismissed as 'panic' to shut down reasoned discourse.


I hope you’re not implying I was doing that. I specified that roughly 80% of it was moral panic, which would imply that the other fifth—the proportion that was “the most grounded” and was comprised of “reasoned discourse”—is not moral panic.


Citing the appropriation of Pepe or the hand gesture as moral panics reads as if you're putting those things in the 80% box.

You know, when a kid walks into the house holding a dog turd the details of where they found it or what sort of dog left it there are not very compelling.


You’re also missing the larger point about layered irony. You should find a broader discussion of it in a cousin thread to this one; the broader point is that there is a deliberately cultured ambiguity between actual extremists adopting something as a dog whistle of their own initiative, their opponents having a moral panic about a supposed dog whistle which then leads the extremists to adopt the dog whistle meta-ironically, trolls being trolls, and people somewhere in the middle of the spectrum or outside of it entirely either mocking the controversy or deliberately stoking it for their own amusement.

For example, SPLC seems to entertain the claim that the association of the “ok” gesture with white nationalism originated as a 4chan hoax to “trigger the libs” (eg not as a genuine white nationalist hand gesture but merely as tomfoolery intended to provoke a moral panic), but may have later been appropriated by some white nationalists. (https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/09/18/ok-sign-white...)


Am I.


You’re certainly not engaging in anything I would describe as good faith, grounded observation, or reasoned discourse.


  I hope you’re not implying 
  You’re also missing the larger point 
  You’re certainly not engaging in anything
There seems to be a theme emerging here.


> or the hand gesture. Of course, it’s also the hand gesture for a three point shot in basketball //

It's just the OK hand gesture [made with the left hand?].

Or, perhaps all scuba divers are racist.


Yeah, for some reason HN can’t render Unicode emojis. It’s the index-thumb circle with three extended fingers gesture.


I like the idea but I'm not sure I see the correlation between your two examples?

The 'It's OK to be white' thing works because they're taking one side of an issue and devolving it into something so basic that it's impossible to refute. By associating something irrefutable like "It's OK to be white" (which only the most blatant racist would argue against) with all their other more controversial positions, they're basically setting a trap that you have to carefully maneuver around instead of being able to just bluntly refute their point with logic or facts.

The misandry thing seems like something else. Like other extreme positions, it's existence benefits the opposition more than the more mild supporters on their side. It's just a low hanging fruit that the opposition can use to snipe more mild supporters by association. Similar to how the left can take potshots at actual Nazis to discredit conservative positions.


They’re not really the same thing; I’m just kind of riffing on the kinds of layered irony that these subcultures develop.

I think “it’s OK to be white” is literally just a slogan used to troll people. Developed and reasoned arguments are not the point. The point is the layered irony. Layer 1 is the literal meaning. Layer 2 is this particular slogan being proposed by a white nationalist as a white nationalist slogan. Layer 3 is the notion that the white nationalist himself is merely a prankster inventing the Layer 2 narrative from whole cloth. Hence, you have a perfect troll because people will argue about this slogan and talk past each other because they are on different layers of irony.

Misandry Tumblr has different layers:

1. The author of this Tumblr unironically hates men.

2. Anti-feminists unfairly and hyperbolically accuse feminists of misandry. The author of this feminist Tumblr reclaims the term ironically. (Parallel: “deplorables”.)

So you get some people saying “hey, look, all of those feminists really do hate men!” because they missed the ironic aspect of misandry, while the ironic misandrists reply “none of us actually hate men”, denying and covering for the unironic misandrists. But maybe some of the unironic misandrists are still being ironic, but just excessively committed to never acknowledging the irony in a weird kayfabe sense. That way, they can basically gatekeep the conversation to keep it between people who are hip to the irony. But then the truly unironic misandrists can still slither into the community under assumption of good faith, and end up talking past their own purported allies.

In a sense, I think the “white nationalist dog whistle” troll is another gatekeeping mechanism. If you’re on the level of irony where you’re not a white nationalist but you like tweaking moral panics over white nationalism, you get to have a chuckle at the panicking progressives who take it unironically. If you are a white nationalist, you are almost as much a butt of the joke as the panicking progressive, but you have a similar smokescreen as the unironic Tumblr misandrist. Unless the original joker really was a white nationalist at which point he gets to chuckle at the naive useful idiots who are giving him this free smokescreen.


>By associating something irrefutable... with all their other more controversial positions, they're basically setting a trap

This is called a "motte and bailey" argument. It's a favorite of bad-faith debaters.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Motte_and_bailey


There was also at least one entirely unironic example of someone using a photo of the three-point sign at a baseball match to accuse people of being Nazis. (The one I can find references to involves Kathy Griffin doing it to kids at Covington, but I think there may have been others.)


> Irony is currently used as a conscious strategy by the extreme right. They know that it gets a pass from ordinary people. While permitting the sincere to organize in plain sight.

I have yet to see any platform that falls under the scope of "the far right" that hasn't been heavily criticized by every which way, no matter how ironic. What are you referring to exactly?


>While permitting the sincere to organize in plain sight.

That's what you want. It's amazingly easy to govern when the radicals self-identify in public.


I had similar experience in real life. People who were "just joking", when you knew them long enough and closely enough, turned out to be not really joking.


How do you know what people are being sincere and what ones are joking on anonymous forums?


>by the extreme right

Just to clarify, 8chan is the one with the /leftypol/ board.


/pol/ is around five times as active as /leftypol/.

8chan's overarching culture is right-wing. Some boards aren't part of the overarching culture, but /pol/ is, and people are talking about /pol/ here.

Note that triple parentheses are part of the site-wide markup syntax. /leftypol/ is the odd one out. Even most of the popular nominally non-political boards lean right.


That is an unfair characterization. /leftypol/ may be smaller than /pol/ but it is definitely one of the top 5 largest boards on the entire site (just checked and it is in 6th place right now by a narrow margin). It has a consistently high PPH count and tons of active users (500 right this minute).

It is hardly fair to say that the left doesn't make up a massive portion of the site.


/leftypol/ is insulated. Mentions of it on other boards are usually hostile.

Its existence tells you a lot about the consistency of the free speech policy, but it tells you little about the political leanings of other boards, particularly /pol/.

I think /leftypol/ is important but I don't think it's very relevant to a claim that /pol/ is populated by the extreme right, which seems to be the context here.


>/leftypol/ is insulated. Mentions of it on other boards are usually hostile.

That also applies to /pol/ though.


That's fair.

They're not treated the same, though. Using /pol/ is considered acceptable, but posting as if you're on /pol/ often isn't. Using /leftypol/ at all isn't considered acceptable.


What I was trying to push back against is that the overarching culture of the site is right-wing. I don't know that it is, and as someone who uses the site, I don't see that. I would love to hear a real argument for why this is the case. The boards on the site have their own internal owners and moderators and it is those people who are actually crafting the content moderation. There are christian boards, technology boards, literature and philosophy boards, sports boards, islamic theology boards, cyberpunk boards, I can go on and on.

To say that the place is nothing but right-wingers and that any other boards that aren't are anomalies, is unfair. Further it shows you have never actually looked at the site beyond the front page, if that. The overarching philosophy of the site is one of free speech, which attracts people who are interested in odd things from all corners, not just the right.


I didn't put it clearly, and not entirely correctly either. Sorry about that.

To the extent the site has an overarching culture, it's right-wing. There are boards outside the overarching culture (I said there were only "few" earlier, but I don't know if that's right).

/tech/ is the largest technology board. It's part of the overarching culture. It has a clear political leaning, even if that leaning is not part of the rules or the stated topic or the moderation policy. If you look at /tech/'s catalog, there's threads like "Stallman Going SJW on us?" and "Apple - FULL ON JEWMODE".

/christian/ has a /christian/pol sticky that encourages people from all parts of the political spectrum to post but seems to have primarily right-wing posters in practice.

/lit/'s second non-sticky is "Race Realism/biological determinism Books".

Not everyone on those boards is right-wing, of course. Being right-wing isn't their defining characteristic. And there are other boards that don't have this.

But boards with a politically neutral moderation policy that get cross-posters from other boards are likely to end up with a culture that's right-wing.

/leftypol/ is explicitly left-wing, so even its cross-posters are left-wing. Some smaller boards mainly get users through other means, so they're decoupled from the site culture. Non-English boards might be insulated as well, but I've never used any of the large ones so I can't tell.

Large boards tend to lean right though.


Large swaths of the internet are left-leaning zones. It should be no surprise that places without algorithmic controls enforcing viewpoints are going to counter-balance what they could otherwise find on normal sites.


I'm on a forum full of extrem righters and when discussing politics (and assorted subjects) they rarely use any irony. But it can still be hilarious sometime.


Irony was used by René Descartes against the church / inquisition.


> Irony is currently used as a conscious strategy by the extreme right.

which is puzzling when considered that 99% of all stand-up comedians are firmly on the left.

So what happened to irony on the left? I think we have outlawed it in Internet forums in exchange for political correctness?

> I don’t know what to do about this, but this is the world we’re living in.

Technology persists where art dies.


Here's the crux of their reasoning & requested information in seeking the warrant, from the linked PDF:

As discussed above, Earnest made a posting in which he thought to draw attention to his forthcoming attack on the Chabad of Poway, share his views through his open letter, and offer people the opportunity to observe the attack itself. Several people responded, both individuals who were taken aback about the posting as well as people who were sympathizers. As a result, some of the individuals may be potential witnesses, co-conspirators and/ or individuals who are inspired by the subject posting. Based on agents' training and experience, following attacks such as those conducted by Earnest, other individuals are inspired by the attacks and may act of their own accord. For example, as described above, Earnest himself was inspired by the Christchurch event in New Zealand.

Regardless of the nature of the comments, the evidence sought to be seized as described in Attachment B is relevant as evidence of Earnest's bias and motivation in committing the hate crimes set forth in Attachment B. Even comments made in response to the subject posting or about it are relevant to Earnest's motivation for his violent attacks to the extent that as explained above, some of the posters may be potential witnesses, co-conspirators and/or individuals who are inspired by the subject posting. As discussed above, Earnest stated in the subject posting, "I've only been lurking for a year and a half, yet, what I've learned here is priceless." This information suggests that Earnest was inspired and/or educated by individuals who commented on his threads.

Based on this information, there is reasonable cause to believe that the information sought, specifically IP address and metadata for all commenters, constitute evidence of his motivation in committing the offenses described herein and are thus relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation, information that may be sought by an order issued pursuant to l S U.S.C. § 2703(c) and (d). That is, the information may lead to the identity of individuals who inspired and/or educated Earnest or are aware of his motivation in committing the attacks.


My only qualm is with this portion:

>...and/ or individuals who are inspired by the subject posting

That's a very overarching goal as it would, in theory, require continued surveillance of all subjects to determine inspiration - either in the past, present, or even the future, yeah?

I mean, you can't just take a snapshot of time,

time_t now = time(0); tm *gmtm = gmtime(&now);

and consider that no other people would be "inspired" in the future by this event, yeah?


There should be more discussion about the ridiculously broad nature of this warrant... How are they able to say anyone who commented at all is a potential co-conspirator?

They should be required to have a more clear guideline than someone who just commented. It's basically a drag net.


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