The style guide for The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that hit headlines in August 2017 for publishing a tirade against a counter-protester killed during a far-right rally, has leaked online.
Obtained and published by The Huffington Post Wednesday (13 December), it exposed how the website's founder - Andrew Anglin – intentionally uses disturbing language to shock readers. But behind the attention seeking sits a strong dedication to white supremacy anti-Semitism.
As per the document, here are some of the ways the website is methodically designed to shock:
"Always blame the Jews"
The goal of the site, according to the guide, is to "repeat the same points over and over" – and its "prime directive" is to "always blame the Jews for everything",
After citing Adolf Hitler, it states: "All enemies should be combined into one enemy, which is the Jews."
Keep a "light tone" of racism, overstate influence
'For the lulz' is internet slang for 'laughing out loud' – usually at another person's expense. "The indoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not," the guide states, adding: "We should always claim we are winning, and should celebrate any wins with extreme exaggeration."
Aiming to "hijack" internet culture
The Daily Stormer embraces a Buzzfeed model of using internet culture – including memes – to lure an audience. It states: "Packing out messages inside of existing cultural memes and humour can be viewed as a delivery method. Something like adding cherry flavour to children's medicine."
Racial slurs are "allowed and advisable"
While the n-word, is "okay to use sometimes" according to the guide, it lists 18 other terms that are "allowed and advisable." It says slurs are recommended but profanity should be used sparely or it will come off as "goofy". The guide lists seven derogatory terms specifically for women.
In case of promoting violence: laugh
The site advises against promoting violence – at least on the surface – but says that if someone does something violent "it should be made light of." It reads: "It's illegal to promote violence on the internet [but] its importance to normalise the acceptance of violence as an eventuality."
The website will not criticise other white supremacists
Trolling is viewed as a "higher level" than news writing, but the Stormer never seeks to criticise other white supremacists. "There is nothing profitable which can come of this," it states. Interestingly, in terms of coverage, it lists RT and Brietbart as being "close" to its own spin.
Taken as a whole, it is clear that neo-Nazi websites like The Daily Stormer use internet-savvy tricks to appear enticing to a younger – and potentially extremist – audience.
It thrives on attention, which makes reporting on such leaks a double-edged sword. But the founder of the website – now outlawed from the web – is seemingly genuine about its white supremacist core, and masks that fact with parody, cultural references, humour and jokey language.
While at first glance it appears shocking, what is clear is that everything on the website is – by design – intentional. You can read the full style guide over on The Huffington Post.