Humorless EU report: It’s not funny anymore. Far-right extremists’ use of humour

Humour has become a central weapon of extremist movements to subvert open societies and to lower the threshold towards violence. Especially within the context of a recent wave of far-right terrorist attacks, we witness “playful” ways in communicating racist ideologies. As far-right extremists strategically merge with online cultures, their approach changes fundamentally. This trend has been especially facilitated by the so-called alt-right and has spread globally. This predominantly online movement set new standards to
rebrand extremist positions in an ironic guise, blurring the lines between mischief and potentially radicalising messaging. The result is a nihilistic form of humour that is directed against ethnic and sexual minorities and deemed to inspire violent fantasies — and eventually action. This paper scrutinises how
humour functions as a potential factor in terms of influencing far-right extremist violence. In doing so, we trace the strategic dissemination of far-right narratives and discuss how extremists conceal their misanthropic messages in order to deny ill intention or purposeful harm. These recent developments pose major challenges for practitioners: As a new generation of violent extremists emerges from digital subcultures without a clear organisational centre, prevention strategies need to renew focus and cope with
the intangible nature of online cultures.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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