We Analyzed How Dangerous Far Right Ideas Spread Online - 2019-07-18
"We are being replaced," the Belgian politician Dries van Langenhove repeatedly posted on social media this Spring. Despite his use of words echoing the rhetoric found in two recent terrorist manifestos, his far-right party Vlaams Belang ("Flemish Interest") made historic gains in Belgium's 2019 triple election.
Popular support for politicians who build their campaigns around anti-migrant and anti-Muslim themes have surged across the Western world. So have hate-speech, hate crimes and terror attacks against minority communities, as data from the US, the UK and Germany show. Just over the last few months, the idea that white populations are being systematically replaced by non-whites has been referenced in major terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand and San Diego, California.
Our new research has found that the theory that became known as the "great replacement" has gained significant traction across social media.