Trans-Atlantic Journeys of Far-Right Narratives Through Online-Media Ecosystems

This research briefing explores if and how far-right narratives from the United States, France and Germany gain traction in domestic mainstream media, or move across borders between the US on the one hand, and France and Germany on the other. It tests whether far-right ideas start out in far-right alternative media but eventually move to the mainstream and whether far-right ideas spread between national media ecosystems.

Published: 1st December 2020

This research briefing explores if and how far-right narratives from the United States (US), France and Germany gain traction in domestic mainstream media, or move across borders between the US on the one hand, and France and Germany on the other. It tests what will be referred to as the mainstreaming hypothesis (far-right ideas start out in far-right alternative media but eventually move to the mainstream) and the transnationalisation hypothesis (far-right ideas spread between national media ecosystems).

The briefing uses the Topic Mapper function of Media Cloud to study the hyperlink networks between three mainstream national and far-right online media ecosystems (USA, France, Germany) while focusing on ten different narratives pushed by far-right extremists in these countries, with five of them originating in the US and five from France and Germany. The research offers some evidence to support the hypopthesis that ideas may be reaching the mainstream through such interactions, but limited support for the hypothesis that far-right media frequently hyperlink to international far-right outlets.

In the Blind Spot – How right-wing extremists use alternative platforms for radicalisation

This report provides a summary of the first annual expert conference "Im toten Winkel - Wie Rechtsextreme alternative Online-Plattformen zur Radikalisierung nutzen" (In the blind spot - How right-wing extremists use alternative online platforms for radicalisation), which took place as part of the project "Radikalisierung in rechtsextremen Onlinesubkulturen entgegentreten" (Countering radicalisation in right-wing extremist online subcultures), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ).