Tag Archives: podcast

Richard Spencer Gets Banned on SoundCloud

The podcast created the Alt Right.

The conversational nature of the podcasts have allowed them to take the canon of white supremacist philosophy, from the Conservative Revolution to the French New Right to “Race Realism,” and make it easily understood.  Richard Spencer, the founder of the Alt Right and the person behind the National Policy Institute and the Radix Journal, was on the front line of this with his original podcast Vanguard Radio.  He had on guests like Jared Taylor and even Pat Buchanan, and starting at AlternativeRight.com he has churned out hundreds of episodes on everything from immigration scandals to film analysis.  He ported his original Vanguard Radio podcast over to the Radix Journal in the form of the Radix Journal Podcast, then merging with other media projects to form AltRight.com.

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His ability to do this, however, has been halted as his hosting, SoundCloud, has finally booted him.  After a “tweetstorm” from Alternet contributor Alex Kotch, SoundCloud responded and took down his podcast library.  This is an important and useful tactic for antifascists as going after their media communication is critical for severing their ability to recruit and organize.  We have gone after many Alt Right podcasts in the past, helping to get podcasts like The Daily Shoah and Fash the Nation removed from SoundCloud.  Spencer has already had his podcast removed from iTunes due to pressure, and so has most of the Alt Right podcasts (Counter Currents Radio archive is still available on iTunes, however.).

As it stands, the Radix Journal is basically a ghost town.  It has been all but formally abandoned, and now with their podcast feed severed there is even less reason for people to visit there.  This is an incredible turn of events as the most popular Alt Right media outlets are being destroyed.  This method of community pressure needs to be continued for other podcasts held by SoundCloud and distrubited by places like Stitcher.  Right now, Kulture Kampf and others are still on SoundCloud, and the Red Ice Radio feed is still available on Stitcher.  The advantage we have is the Terms of Service of these platforms preclude this type of content, so we can easily push them to remove them through mass community comments.

This is how it can work: First, figure out the podcast in question. Then single it out and promote the SoundCloud or other platform’s customer service lines, whether by phone, email, or social media.  Then do mass contact asking it to be taken down, and give examples of the offensive content (which is incredibly easy to find).  This can take them down one at a time, and will easily sever their most popular platforms.

Spencer will likely find some type of hosting that will be free from pressure and where he will continue to be able to keep his podcasts running.  What that lacks, though, is a mass audience social networking component that he gets by using well known services.  This is what has allowed the Alt Right to gain an audience quickly, because they use the same platforms as some of the biggest media names in the U.S.  Once that is gone they will only be able to reach their core audience, and their ability to recruit will be destroyed.

Let’s keep this trend going.

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Sound of Violence: Fascists Are Now Broadcasting

by Brandon Berg

The capacity of popular media to affect social change is undeniable. One needn’t look further than the oft-cited correlation between the popularity of CBS’s Will and Grace and the country’s attitude toward gay rights for confirmation. The fact is, progressive writers in Hollywood and New York have, for decades, have been actively working towards the era of tolerance, not to mention organizers and activists. Recall the response of Richard Nixon, perhaps America’s most openly fascistic president, to the inclusion of a gay relationship in a 1970s-era episode of All in the Family, captured for posterity in one of his own secret recordings. The upshot of this has been the continued isolation felt by the fascists, racists and homophobes who can no longer find mainstream media content fitting their own perverse worldviews. A notable development in the last year undoubtedly connected to this reality has been the birth of an entire cottage industry producing gut-churning right-wing content for web-bound fascists.

Interestingly, it would seem that the main way in which this new phenomenon is expressed is through a whole plethora of podcasts available for free download. Virtually every large fascist site has some sort of audio content: Pseudo-intellectual “Radix Journal” produces a podcast seemingly dedicated entirely to film and cultural critique. Daily Stormer maintains a site with regularly scheduled broadcasts, unsubtly entitled “Radio Aryan” (which includes a rather suspicious looking “Aryan Bootlegs” section).  Counter-Currents Publishing does interviews with foreign fascist intellectuals, often attempting to create a more “high brow” appearance.  Anti-Fascist News has covered the increasing popularity of the crude “Daily Shoah” podcast produced by The Right Stuff.biz, and that same site has apparently enlarged their audio production immensely, now featuring numerous different podcasts with different hosts releasing each day of the week.

One might ask why exactly, in a world of Vlogs and easy video production, the fascistic right-wing has essentially reverted to 1930s era tactics of scheduled radio broadcasts to get their message out. It likely has to do with a desire for anonymity on the parts of both the producers and the listeners. Unlike a YouTube video, it’s very easy to conceal one’s identity if they can remain, for all intents and purposes, a disembodied voice. It is seemingly very common for the hosts of these podcasts to go by pseudonyms continuously, referring to each other by names that are either simply bizarre or blatantly offensive(everything from Mike Enoch to Reactionary Tree). It is also fairly clear that a downloaded .mp3 file offers a far greater chance to hide your disgusting, socially unacceptable views than a YouTube video of SS men marching to death metal. It can be listened to discretely on an iPod without the risk of anyone looking over their shoulder.

These factors have led to a renaissance in racist and fascist podcast production. As mentioned before, the racist blog The Right Stuff now has multiple podcasts releasing new episodes daily, all hosted on their Radio.therightstuff site. Many of them appear to be giving a regional perspective on news item of interest to racists. They have different podcasts featuring hosts from the American South, Scandinavia and Britain among others. These mainly consist of the various hosts bemoaning the increased tolerance and multiculturalism of their native lands, and calling, in vague terms, for the physical removal of Syrian refugees and other “undesirables”. Others seem to have more obscure and esoteric interests. “KulturKampf” (note the German fetishism) seems to exist solely to discuss Plato’s Republic. “The Fatherland” (there it is again) relates the experience of fascist fathers trying to raise their children in a world without a Hitlerjugend to enroll them in. One of their most recent additions in “Fash Course World History”, a show not related to the history of fashion but rather Fascism.  Here they spin common right-wing straw men, re-hashing historical events with a white nationalist perspective, often revealing that they lack even a basic understanding of most of Western history. At first listen the show sounds something like an NPR program, with the hosts speaking in the characteristic calm tone and without the Opie and Anthony-style drops and sound effects now a hallmark of other fascist podcasts. The half-dozen hosts, evidently academics seeking a form of expression for their own bigotry, then launch into a critique of Nietzschean ideology. They praise the controversial philosopher for introducing the ideals that would eventually contribute in some way to he rational for the holocaust, but attacking him for his “materialist” philosophy, evidently viewed among elements of the far-right as having damaged the theocratic power of religious institutions.

Though these people have little money, institutional support, credibility or recognition, it’s clear that they have both a growing number of covert participants and a lot of time on their hands. See a young white man on the subway with downcast eyes and headphones in his ears? He could well be listening approvingly to a podcast on the anti-Semitic pogroms of Imperial Russia. With this we are given tools to monitor how this movement has changed, how it is adapting to new conditions, and use this to develop an anti-fascist movement that is versatile enough to continue to dismantle any ground they gain.

The Shudder Effect: iTunes, Twitter, and Web Hosting Drop White Nationalists

The last couple of weeks have seen a surge of “removals” for white nationalist voices from various platforms, social networks, and hosting sites.  Part of this is perceived as special treatment of these voices on places like Twitter, which has now said that it will be changing its feed function to work on an algorithm similar to how Facebook functions.  Currently, Twitter just shows you the tweets in the order in which they appear.  Facebook, on the other hand, shows people things in their feed on an algorithm that is “intended” to show them things that they prefer.  This may or may not work, and as people running Facebook pages may note that it is hard to get people to view your content without paid advertisements.  Twitter has been more open, but many people assume that this new function may target certain voices.

While there is not evidence that white nationalists are the reason for the Twitter changes, or that their functional changes are intended to target them, they are putting two and two together since Twitter continues to ban them for abusive behavior.  Much of this comes from The Right Stuff crowd who enjoys “trolling” people, which basically consists of digital harassment.  This is their idea of political engagement since they think it will get their memes into the mainstream, and, with things like Cuckservative, they were right.  Their reach has not been much beyond that, and this abusive behavior has seen popular white nationalist Twitter accounts like Charles Johnson and Andrews Anglin deleted(which led to the silly #FreeAnglin hashtag).

The bigger news is that iTunes has sort of followed the example led by Soundcloud and has taken down the extended reach of The Right Stuff/The Daily Shoah and the Radix Journal Podcast.  Recently, Soundcloud dropped the Daily Shoah because of their violent racialism and slurs, forcing them first to Archive.org and then to another place to host their growing line of podcasts.  Now, iTunes disrupted the feed, making it impossible to find them through a regular search.  This caused a problem in their iTunes feed as their programs like Rebel Yell were mislabeled.  Richard Spencer created a video(and podcast that was distributed on iTunes, ironically), discussing how this “new digital censorship” could make them look as though they “simply don’t exist.”

The Daily Shoah saw a more direct type of interference beyond just their iTunes disruption as their famous forums got taken down by the hosting.  The forums are often the more exaggerated version of the podcast itself, it is where the fans use all manor of racial slurs and indulge in their self-referential jargon.  Here, they began discussing a woman who had been posting pictures of her two daughters with her two adopted black sons.  Of course, they immediately began discussing how this put the two girls at risk, that it was “sexually provocative,” and that she was exploiting them.  They then went on to harass and insult her on social media, insulting her sons and referring to them with some of the most disgusting racial language you could imagine.  She then went on social media and rounded up people who found this behavior appalling and had an email campaign to the hosting service to tell them about the violation of their terms of service, mainly that it was being used to organize racist attacks.  After filing all of these complaints, they eventually revoked TRS’s agreement and shut down the forums.

We have had our own relationship with the forums ourselves as we consistently find the website discussed there and often get boosts of traffic when they link to us(and it drives up our place in Google search results significantly.).  The forum content was always available through Google search results, something Mike Enoch tried to block yet was not very consistent with.  The new forums that they are in the process of creating promises to not be available through Google since they are using some very private, off-shore hosting(it sounds like some shady Bitcoin job).  We maintained forum accounts before, and we will on this new one as well.  Now they will be using “nginx,” but they are not quite up and ready to go yet.

While we applaud the efforts by every day people to challenge and shut down this racism, there is some potentials here that we are more dubious about.  If the voices can be completely shut down to them, our voices could be just as easily, so we need to keep this understanding in mind when developing strategy.  What is mainly getting them shut down is their vile racialism, something that is so roundly appalling that most platforms do not want to even take part.  Continuing to create a multi-faceted anti-racist movement, that both targets these types of voices and develops anti-racist perspectives in the culture are crucial.  If platforms become too responsive then there is potential for censorship on all fronts, so this should be taken serious when thinking about what methods should be used to achieve a “no platform” effect.  We stand with many places like Google becoming public utilities that are accountable to the people, both because it protects our voice, and it would actually leave the fascists up to some type of oversight.  They may decrease the ability to do simple platform pressure campaigns, but it could open up other avenues for counter organizing.