Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, views his online trolling as an important political act.
“Being offensive is a political act,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “If something pushes up against polite civilization, it’s for a purpose.”
Auernheimer has been a consultant for the Daily Stormer, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the country’s “top hate site.” The Daily Stormer orchestrates aggressive trolling campaigns and was behind a failed neo-Nazi march on the Jewish community of Whitefish, Montana.
Keegan Hankes, an SPLC researcher, said Auernheimer and the Daily Stormer’s editor Andrew Anglin are among the “primary innovators” in how trolling has become a tool for far-right extremists, the AP reported.
“The reality is internet trolling is entertaining. People love to watch it. It’s become a national sport,” Auernheimer said. “It’s something that anyone can jump into.”