In the battle of the neo-Nazi websites, the Daily Stormer has overtaken Stormfront.
Andrew Anglin’s Daily Stormer website is now the “top hate site in America,” according to a detailed post by the Southern Poverty Law Center, published last week.
Propelled by Donald Trump’s rise and energized by the so-called “alt-right,” 2016 was an important year for Anglin’s brand — he surpassed Stormfront in page views and mobilized an online “troll army” in a string of ambitious racist campaigns.
In March 2016, Anglin (along with another neo-Nazi computer hacker known as “Weev”), caused thousands of printers around the country, most of them at universities, to spontaneously begin printing, according to the SPLC.
And 2016 was also the year that Anglin made forays into the real world.
In August, Anglin published a call for supporters to “Register Now for the IRL [In Real Life] Troll Army AKA The Stormer Book Club.” Anglin said he was looking for “groups to prepare for the coming race war.”
According to the SPLC, Anglin has managed to create more than 30 chapters of his “Troll Army.”
Anglin mobilized his troll army a number of times last year. In one of the most high-profile campaigns, Anglin launched an online attack against Jews in Whitefish, Montana, hometown of “alt-right” figurehead Richard Spencer. He planned to hold an armed march in Whitefish also, but ultimately failed to obtain a permit.
The Daily Stormer was created in 2013, building on an earlier website also created by Anglin, called Total Fascism. Typical headlines include “Filthy Christ-Killing Jews Gather Across the Country to Demand Terrorists Flood America” or “Negroid Rapes and Murders Lovely Italian Jogger – But It’s Not a Race Thing, Goy.”
Anglin described his publishing strategy in a podcast last year. “You make a very simple message, where you hit the same points over and over and over again and you repeat them,” he said. “That’s been my style. That’s why I do the news.”
He went on: “It’s about creating a gigantic spectacle — a media spectacle, which desensitizes people to these ideas.”
Anglin, who previously told the Forward that he doesn’t “talk to Jews on the phone anymore,” did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Email Sam Kestenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.