What Is Groyping, the Neo-Nazi Propaganda Tool Used On the Radio? - 2020-06-18
In February, neo-Nazis flooded a UK livestream for a Labour Party leadership debate hosted by Sky News. The debate, featuring MPs Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey, began at 8PM. By 8:04PM, the link to the YouTube stream had been shared in a group-chat on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, named "The Patriotic Groyper Public Chat". Participants were instructed to post "DEMOGRAPHICS in the chat".
As the leadership hopefuls debated the future of the Labour Party, anonymous fascist YouTuber "The Iconoclast" started posting "DEMOGRAPHICS" – a reference to a far-right conspiracy theory that white people in the West are being "replaced" – in the comments section. Others soon followed. The chat on the stream was then flooded with alt-right and neo-Nazi comments: the frog face emoji was posted repeatedly, someone declared, "DESTROY COMMUNISM", while another wrote, "VOTE PATRIOTIC ALTERNATIVE", voicing support for a new British far-right political party.
Back on Telegram, activists coordinating the ambush were pleased. "The chat on sky news labour debate is going very well gents," said one, as another declared, "The field is ours!" The link to the chat was shared again with the instruction: "Flood with demographics." The trolling continued. When the debate was finally over, the far-right Telegram users celebrated: "Absolutely smashed it there lads!", "Top groyping gents."