aside What Are White Supremacists Doing With A Russian Version Of Facebook?

Image result for photos of richard collins iii
White Supremacist/ Lt. Richard Collins III

I recently blogged on the 23 year old Lt. Richard Collins III story where he was fatally stabbed on 5/20/17 at a University of Maryland bus stop by a  White Supremacist who self-identified himself as such on his Facebook account.

In doing the research for this post, I uncovered a very distressing piece of information which has taken on more significance we in the USA have become only too well aware of, the far-reaching extent that Russia took to meddle into our 2016 US presidential elections. It seems that there is a Russian version of Facebook, VK, which has been attracting a significant number of followers who are members of White Supremacists’ groups.

Image result for PHOTOS OF WHITE SUPREMACISTSHere is the rest of the story…

On 5/20/2016, Olga Khazan of the Atlantic penned the following report, “American Neo-Nazis Are on Russia’s Facebook.”

Excerpts:

“An online group called “United Aryan Front” recently warned readers that “the wolves are closing in…and we are the sheepdog” and followed with a call for recruits: “If you are not a part of an organization but would like to join us…you can!! White Lives Matter is the largest organization of whites in the world.”

“The post wrapped up with a smattering of hashtags like #WhiteLivesMatterAcrossAmerica.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS“But the site where this rant was posted isn’t based in America. United Aryan Front, along with scores of other American extremist groups, is on VK, also known as VKontakte—otherwise known as Russia’s version of Facebook. The social network has become a home for white-power groups who were pushed off of Facebook for hate speech, or who want to connect with fellow racists in other countries.”

“The move to VK is part of the growing tendency of white supremacists to interact in online forums, rather than through real-life groups like the KKK, according to Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-terror  Intelligence Project. Through the early 2000s, skinheads and other groups would host dozens of events per year with hundreds of attendees, she says, but now there are only a handful of those rallies each year. “People online are talking about the same kinds of things that used to happen at the rallies, but now they’re doing it completely through the web,” she said.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF WHITE SUPREMACISTSJessie Daniels, a sociologist who studies cyber racism, has also noticed that racist groups are now much more active online than in the streets. In this way, they reflect overall trends in society: The rest of us might be Bowling Alone, but white supremacists are rallying alone. For the supremacist groups, the benefits include anonymity, ease, and an opportunity to connect with extremists in other nations. Take, for example, John Russell Houser. Before he killed two people at a showing of Trainwreck in Louisiana last July, he appears to have posted frequently about the Golden Dawn, a far-right Greek political party.”

“The internet has made it possible for white people around the globe to identify with trans-local whiteness,” Daniels said.”

“The most striking evidence of the shift was Dylann Roof, who killed nine African-Americans in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, last April. According to Beirich, Roof had no ties to “real-world” extremists. Instead, he had simply Googled phrases like “black on White crime” and perused sites such as the Council of Conservative Citizens, which traffics in racist rhetoric.”

Related image“Last year, the overall number of hate groups rose for the first time in five years, according to the SPLC’s annual count. Hits to Stormfront.org, a white nationalist hub with 300,000 registered users, have ticked up since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, Beirich said. According to an SPLC study, in the past five years members of Stormfront have murdered nearly 100 people. White nationalists have also taken to Twitter and other sites that host discussion forums. Facebook itself is not immune to white-power groups, who often use coded language like “new Europe.”

Beirich and her group have found that newcomers are sometimes radicalized by these sites, much like some people who debate with ISIS online instead get sucked into its orbit. “It can be someone who posts a banal racist comment and people will swarm them,” she said.

Image result for PHOTOS OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS

“White supremacists began migrating to VK over the past three years, Beirich said, when Facebook cracked down on hate speech. The platform offers a similar user experience as Facebook, complete with profiles and groups, but with seemingly less enforcement. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which also tracks extremist groups online, gave VK a D- grade for policing hate on its annual report card, but Facebook got a B-.”

‘Although VK’s terms of service prohibit information “which propagandizes and/or contributes to racial, religious, ethnic hatred or hostility, propagandizes fascism or racial superiority,” Beirich said the site appears to turn a blind eye.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS“Certainly from our perspective the site seems like a free-for-all,” she said. “And that is what white supremacists think, too.”

“A few quick searches on VK reveal groups dedicated to preserving the Aryan race and honoring the legacy of Hitler. The news site Vocativ has counted 300 or so pro-Hitler groups on the site. Of the 202 followers of the “NSM USA Public Action” Nazi group on VK, 38 list their location as the U.S. And 243 of the more than 14,000 fans of “Aryan Girls” on the site appear to be American. A post on Stormfront claims VK is “used by 70 million white racialists everyday!”

“Two years ago, an Adolf Hitler fan page on VK attempted to hold a “Miss Ostland” beauty pageant, but the page was shut down after Vocativ published a story about the event. Today, the “NSM [National Socialist Movement] USA” page on VK is alive and well. Its latest post was on May 17 —a video of a speech by American neo-Nazi commander Jeff Schoep.”

11 comments

    • Dear Kim,

      It is frightening! And DDT wants to play footsies with these Russians. I wouldn’t put it past the Russians to be funding some of these groups. My imagination is running amok. He DDT is a closet one of them.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. Clearly there’s an association between white supremacist groups and VK; Russian social media is a free for all and there’s no censorship whatsoever. Now all we need is hard proof that the Russian Gov’t is financing Western hate groups via VK, which may be very difficult to prove.

    Very nice investigative reporting Gronda!

  2. This is where I sadly slip back into the Old-School (Realpolitik) Socialism and open by copy of ‘1984 ‘and say ‘Y’know. Not so bad a govt, just needs a bit of lightening up’.
    Y’see I am fanatically intolerant of Intolerance. Locking up for good a few thousand is a price worth paying to avoid the horrors that gave rise to WWII.
    In my book, they want to play hardball with the State. Fine, gloves are off. Let’s dance.
    Sorry ‘about that.

    • Dear Roger,

      I am for treating and classifying these White Supremacists with the same status as terrorist groups. But this does not fit with the narrative that the republican president wants to support. We are supposed to be led to be fearful of foreign inspired terrorists when we have more of these folks in our own back yards who are just as dangerous.

      Ciaio, Gronda

  3. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    There have been many of us attempting to bring this issue out of the dark and into the light for quite some time, even before the coming forth of the “Great White Hope” AKA king tRump! Many people think that the dark web is simply a collection of hackers and computer geeks, but trust me, they are but a small minority when one starts to look closely. To mention anything that one learns there often leads to ridicule and is dismissed as fantasy, that is until at a later date the beast rears it ugly head and exposes itself as truth. The basic problem with mentioning knowledge that is gained on those sites is that most do not provide any source, and most of us are reluctant to simply accept as truth thing that are unverifiable. I suppose that makes some of us seem insane or perhaps just “nuts” to some, but to most of us that is just the price we feel we must pay in an effort, perhaps futile at best, to correct the course that this nation is headed…

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      Not everything in this dark web is accurate but some may be truthful or can indicate a trend or a pattern.For me, I don’t have the time to do the fact finding to figure out which is which.

      Most journalists did not give much credence of the Christopher Steele 35 page dossier when they first received this leak because the info was just too fantastic. But now, they have changed their tune.

      If they had just checked into the background of the author, they might have had a more open mind.

      However this VK story is frightening because it can be used as a marketing tool to attract recruits just like ISIS does from around the world including in the USA.

      cIAO, gRONDA

  4. Evil will always find a way. I definitely think Trump’s campaign crowds were encouraged by this talk of imprisoning and fighting others. He may have started more than he bargained for. He seems to start things then walk away and begin something else. He’s leaving a trail of hate behind him. This attitude may turn on him in the end. When the people in power in Washington want to get him out of town they send him on another campaign and it starts up again. 😦 — Suzanne

    • Dear Suzanne,

      President Trump has knowingly turned a blind eye to the alt-right / White Supremacist group members because he knows that he can count on their votes and support.

      This is why his criticisms of these groups actions is perfunctory. He is just going through the motions.

      And yes, this is interpreted by these guys as being supported by the man in the White House.

      Hugs, Gronda

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