White Twitter: Tracing the evolution of the alt-right in retweets, 2009-2016

Saif Shahin, Yee Man Margaret Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The alt-right White Nationalist movement, which emerged in response to the election of America’s first Black president, adopted Twitter from the outset. Tracing its evolution over eight years in retweets, our study suggests that the movement was relatively small and factionalized until 2015—but its subgroups closed ranks following Donald Trump’s candidacy and became a blowhorn for his campaign. Integrating social network theory with the emerging view of race and politics as dynamic processes, our study advances a “technosocial” understanding of White Nationalism and its journey from the fringes to the center stage of American politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2418-2427
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Culture
  • Identity
  • Inclusion
  • Polarization
  • Twitter


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