White nationalists and self-identified Nazi sympathizers located mostly in the United States use Twitter with “relative impunity” and often have far more followers than militant Islamists, a study being released on Thursday found.
Eighteen prominent white nationalist accounts examined in the study, including the American Nazi Party, have seen a sharp increase in Twitter followers to a total of more than 25,000, up from about 3,500 in 2012, according to the study by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism that was seen by Reuters.
Berger said in an interview that Twitter and other companies such as Facebook Inc faced added difficulties in enforcing standards against white nationalist groups because they are less cohesive than Islamic State networks and present greater free speech complications.
Oh really. Hmmm. Interesting how there aren’t any greater free speech complications when it comes to stomping on Islamic extremism, but boy oh boy, does it ever get complicated when it’s white extremists. Sure.
The data collected, which included analysis of tweets of selected accounts and their followers, represents a fraction of the white nationalist presence on Twitter and was insufficient to estimate the overall online size of the groups, the report said.
Accounts examined in the study possessed a strong affinity for U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, a prolific Twitter user who has been accused of retweeting accounts associated with white nationalism dozens of times.
Three of the top 10 hashtags used most frequently by the data set of users studied were related to Trump, according to the report, entitled “Nazis vs. ISIS on Twitter.” Only #whitegenocide was more popular than Trump-related hashtags, the report said.
Yeah, there’s shocking news. I’ll try to work up a shocked expression or something.
Full story here.