Meet The Neo-Nazi Dickbags Recruiting Your Dull Teenager On The Funny Meme Site!
Just another dispatch from the uglystupid corners of the internet: Vice reports that neo-Nazi groups are using the meme site iFunny to recruit teenaged boys looking for amusing memes about anime, school, and of course blowjobs. Among the groups trying to spread a little bit of hate through stupid memes is a group calling itself "The Base," which appears to think it's very edgy for naming itself after the English translation of "Al Qaeda."
Last week, The Base uploaded a new propaganda video showing the group training in the United States on the meme website iFunny. The video shows 11 members, all dressed in camouflage and armed with assault rifles, marching and conducting firearms drills, and culminates with a good old-fashioned book burning in a poorly built fire. (Members tossed the United States flag into the flames for good measure.)
The edgy shitlords, or shitty edgelords, even took a photo of themselves with a goat's head, because they're exactly the sort of meme warriors who know what's likely to attract likeminded kids: vaguely satanic imagery from a 1987 hair metal band.
The response from iFunny readers appears to have been less than enthusiastic, however, because not only are Kids These Days constantly online, they're also pretty jaded, and so what if you assholes have guns and say you want a race war?
While most of the comments on the video ridicule The Base for having no military know-how, at least two commenters spoke about how they have already been in touch about joining the group.
"Pretty cool," one poster wrote. "I'm completing my vetting right now."
Or perhaps the maybe-recruits were just being ironic. It's so hard to tell anymore!
Still, say Vice's Mack Lamoureux and Zachary Kamel, The Base is a real hate group that recruits people, because there's no shortage of non-ironic racists out there:
The Base, while still in its infancy, has members across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, and is growing quickly. It has held several paramilitary style training camps in the U.S. within the past year. Like other far-right extremist groups, The Base is an accelerationist group, meaning it wants to speed up the collapse of society via attacks and other chaotic actions so it can create a new, all-white world.
While recruits come from a variety of sources, postering, word of mouth, other like-minded groups, one consistent pipeline has been iFunny. (Previous stories reported by VICE, and the Winnipeg Free Press, show the Base vets via phone calls followed by real world meetups.)
And as Buzzfeed News has reported, iFunny has become a real draw for white nationalists, because there's just something about the brilliance of stupid goddamn memes that resonates with people amenable to believing Jews and shadowy liberal conspiracies are the reason their lives suck.
Screenshot via Buzzfeed News
As Vice reports, iFunny doesn't seem to be especially good at moderation, either. When Vice contacted the site for comment on the recruitment video, iFunny took it down and banned the users who posted it and seemed to be recruiting. It also said it's very concerned and working on improving its moderation systems to catch hateful content.
But before that happened, a bunch of those accounts had actually been featured by the site, hooray:
One of the more active recruiters for The Base is a member who goes by MemeMercenary. Like fellow recruiters, many of the posts he puts up feature an email or QR code that prompts users to get in touch with the group to initiate the vetting phase. MemeMercenary, who had almost 5,000 followers by the time of his removal, has been featured 47 times on iFunny, meaning his work has been hand-selected by moderators to land on the front page of the website.
Other users recruited for multiple groups. One user, called The Ecologist, promoted both The Base as well as a fledgling eco-fascist group. VICE was able to identify upwards of 10 members of the site actively recruiting for accelerationist groups.
Worse, a former "volunteer moderator," who requested anonymity because iFunny requires non-disclosure agreements,
described the moderation of the site, then and now, as a disaster, saying most of the bans were "a slap on the wrist since they decided perma bans were too harsh."
"The people that are now left in charge pushed out many of the people that made the app good," said another former moderator. "I remember that one of the admins at the time wanted to push hard on removing ALL the white supremacist/nationalist content of the platform completely. They were told no."
Most of the content on iFunny is just stupid memes that you'd find anywhere; the politics, when there is any, tends to the usual MAGA Chud stuff, like this brilliance:
But the site has become popular with idiot rightwingers, too, like three separate dipshits who were arrested after they all made threats to shoot up or bomb clinics that perform abortions. At least one of them had a cache of guns and ammunition, so that would have been quite the punchline, since as we know, wingnuts with violent fantasies are always just "joking," until they aren't, and even then, their manifestos are laced with hilarious online memes.
In conclusion, it's very worrisome that both sides of our political discourse have become so uncivil, what with neo-Nazis recruiting people on the far right, and climate change activists condemning corporate greed on the left, the end. Thank you, and I am David Brooks.
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