The Alt Right is, fundamentally, a social media phenomenon. The concept of the Alt Right has been around since 2010, a specific confluence of white nationalism influenced by various strands of thought including Neoreaction, Paleoconservatism, the European New Right, and so on. The phenomonon of the Alt Right, as we know it today, is that of the popularization of those ideas, turning their racialism into Twitter trolls, snarky blogs, and annoying podcasts. They have relied on Web 2.0 platforms like Twitter for publicity and SoundCloud for podcast hosting because it puts them on an equal footing with the giants of media opinion.
The only problem is that their racism violates every rule the platform has, giving them a finite life. Over the last year many of their leaders have been banned from Twitter. First, Milo Yiannoupoulos of Breitbart was shuttered for leading a racist harassment raid on actress Leslie Jones. Later Ricky Vaughn was kicked off, and then Richard Spencer and many others. Likewise, SoundCloud began dropping white nationalist podcasts like the Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation, and PayPal severed their funding. Though many of them are trying to make new platforms like Gab their home, they just aren’t going to happen in the public consciousness.
On Saturday, February 4th, Twitter just went through on a huge banning campaign. They shut down Charles Johnson (AKA Reactionary Tree), the account for the newly form AltRight.com, Dr. Joyce, Murdoch/ Murdoch, and several dozen other Alt Right figures were dropped from Twitter. This is the only way for them to break into the mainstream even a little bit, which is a huge hit to a movement that needs this trolling platform to find a place for itself. Cuckservative gave it a boost, #AltRight gave it a name, and its ability to take racism viral is what made it relevant, and without platforms like Twitter it is almost as though it will cease to be.
At the same time, Reddit has begun the purge of Alt Right subreddits that have become a home for the ugliest racism on the Internet. R/AltRight and R/AlternativeRight has been banned from the site, with R/The_Donald likely to be next. What this shows clearly is that they are banning them based on ideological grounds, understanding that Alt Right online forums are where plans for doxing and harassment begin.
While the Alt Right is still larger than we ever could have imagined a few years ago, the last six months have been a brutal social attack on them, and they are reeling.