New Right Metapolitics and the algorithmic activism of Schild & Vrienden

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output

Abstract

Digital media play an important role in the contemporary rise in visibility of New Right and far-right activist groups online, offline, and in the mainstream media. This visibility has boosted their online and offline mobilization power. Through a live digital ethnographic analysis of the rise of Schild & Vrienden, a recent Flemish far-right activist movement, I will argue that we should understand their online and offline activism as part of a “metapolitical battle” exploiting the affordances of digital media in a hybrid media system. Schild & Vrienden, just like most contemporary New Right movements, draws ideological and strategic inspiration from “La Nouvelle Droite,” the French far-right school of thought. Following their lead, these activists focus first and foremost on the circulation and the normalization of ideas: the discursive or metapolitical battle for hegemony. Digital media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube prove to be ideal platforms for that metapolitical battle enabling them to gain considerable discursive power in a hybrid media system. This article argues that the distribution of New Right content on these platforms presupposes digital literacy and algorithmic activism. “Algorithmic activists” are defined as activists who use (theoretical or practical) knowledge about the relative weight certain signals have within the proceduralized choices the algorithms of the media platforms make as proxies of human judgment, to reach their (meta)political goals. In this sense, “algorithmic activism” contributes to spreading their message by interacting with the post to trigger the algorithms of the medium, so that they boost the popularity rankings.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2019

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digital media
media system
political goal
twitter
facebook
normalization
hegemony
popularity
mobilization
ranking
literacy
Group

Keywords

  • metapolitics
  • New Right
  • algorithmic activism
  • far right
  • identitarian movements
  • alt-right
  • discourse
  • Anti-Enlightenment

Cite this

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title = "New Right Metapolitics and the algorithmic activism of Schild & Vrienden",
abstract = "Digital media play an important role in the contemporary rise in visibility of New Right and far-right activist groups online, offline, and in the mainstream media. This visibility has boosted their online and offline mobilization power. Through a live digital ethnographic analysis of the rise of Schild & Vrienden, a recent Flemish far-right activist movement, I will argue that we should understand their online and offline activism as part of a “metapolitical battle” exploiting the affordances of digital media in a hybrid media system. Schild & Vrienden, just like most contemporary New Right movements, draws ideological and strategic inspiration from “La Nouvelle Droite,” the French far-right school of thought. Following their lead, these activists focus first and foremost on the circulation and the normalization of ideas: the discursive or metapolitical battle for hegemony. Digital media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube prove to be ideal platforms for that metapolitical battle enabling them to gain considerable discursive power in a hybrid media system. This article argues that the distribution of New Right content on these platforms presupposes digital literacy and algorithmic activism. “Algorithmic activists” are defined as activists who use (theoretical or practical) knowledge about the relative weight certain signals have within the proceduralized choices the algorithms of the media platforms make as proxies of human judgment, to reach their (meta)political goals. In this sense, “algorithmic activism” contributes to spreading their message by interacting with the post to trigger the algorithms of the medium, so that they boost the popularity rankings.",
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author = "Ico Maly",
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New Right Metapolitics and the algorithmic activism of Schild & Vrienden. / Maly, Ico.

2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output

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