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Hate Online: Exploring the World of Extremist Internet Culture Open Access

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Since the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States and the first person of color to hold the office, politicians, academics, and journalists have attempted to explain the phenomenon of white supremacist terrorism and activity. Although the concept of far-right terrorist organizations is neither new nor unique to the United States, the resurgence of concern over these groups has increased markedly, reaching levels which had been unheard of since the early 1990's. However, despite these facts, remarkably little scientific research has been conducted on the phenomenon of white supremacist organization and communication patterns and the diffusion of the organizations' messages. This study represents an attempt to analyze the words and communication styles of various white supremacist organizations on the internet across several different subcultural groups. Utilizing a qualitative content analysis technique, this study finds that while there are marked similarities between the various groups, the white supremacist movement is fractured and contains a number of different organizations with markedly different foci and approaches to disseminating their messages.

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