White Supremacy Search Trends in the United States

Moonshot, along with the Anti-Defamation League, have recently released a report analyzing the internet searching habits of Americans on topics related to white supremacy and anti-Semitism. The study covers the period of July 2020 – March 2021, during which the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Presidential election all created “fertile ground for white supremacists and other violent extremist movements to mobilize and recruit.” Titled, White Supremacy Search Trends in the United States, the report examines the following:Dark figure behind computer / internet doing nefarious things.

  • What Did Americans Search For?
  • Where Did Americans Consume Extremist Content?
  • What Were the Most Popular Forums and Websites?
  • What Extremist Literature Did Americans Search For?
  • What Extremist Merchandise Did Americans Search For?
  • What Extremist Groups Did Americans Search For?
  • Who Searched for Extremist Content?

Some of the key findings include:

  • Anti-Black search traffic peaked during the summer of 2020, when systemic racial inequality took center stage in the US during nationwide protests.
  • The anti-Semitic forum “Know More News” received high search volumes.
  • Interest in white supremacist literature remained high throughout the late summer and fall of 2020.
  • Nearly 350 Americans searched “bring back slavery” on 4 November, the day after the presidential election, when voters in Nebraska and Alabama, among other states, voted to remove racist language that legalized slavery as a punishment from their states’ constitutions.

More resources related to white supremacy, anti-Semitism,  and online hate speech can be found the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL).

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