Ctrl Alt-Right Delete Turns Three
By Melissa Ryan
Last week marked CARD’s third birthday. Three years ago the first edition went out to 231 people, most of whom had signed up via a single Facebook post. What was initially a way to keep friends and colleagues up to date on all things far right internet has grown into a substantial resource for keeping readers up to speed on all things extremism, disinformation, and online toxicity.
Today seems like the right time to share some bittersweet news: after two years of being an incredible partner and publisher of the newsletter, HOPE not hate has let me know that they’ll be unable to support us in 2020 as a financial and editorial contributor. Organizationally they’ve had to make some hard choices about how to best do their work next year and unfortunately, given the need for CARD to focus on the 2020 US election and HOPE not hate having to focus on the fallout of a post-Brexit Britain, the two will be parting ways. Our last joint issue will be published on December 22.
I’m extremely grateful to the HOPE not hate team for all their support. They’re a fantastic organization and have been a dream to partner with. CARD has grown beyond what I ever thought it would be with their help, and I’m going to miss working with Simon and the team very much.
Since learning the news I’ve thought a lot about the newsletter, and whether it was worth continuing without a partner. But I’d like to do this for another year. 2020 is too important and I believe that CARD has an important role to play.
I know y’all love our annual stats so here we go. In 2019 the newsletter had an average open rate of 29.51% and an average click-through rate of 4%. Our current readership remains at around 15,000 and includes representatives from:
- 68 Media Outlets
- 87 Progressive and Political Consulting and PR Firms
- 124 NGO’s and Advocacy Groups
- 182 Universities and Think Tanks
- 24 Labor Unions (US)1
- 13 Foundations
The top ten most opened subject lines of 2019 were:
- From Banners to Bullets
- Facebook should sit out 2020
- The Facebook Fight
- Paradigm Shift
- The rot at the top
- Memeification and dehumanization
- “The crap you think of is unbelievable.”
- QAnon Voters
- Baby Trump doo doo doo doo doo doo
- We had a spy on the inside
An honorable mention to a few of my favorites in the top 15: CPAC your Bags and last month’s Ukraine in the Membrane. (BTW if you’re wondering about this week’s subject line, according to Google the traditional gift for a third anniversary is leather.)
Next year CARD will be back to a one-woman enterprise. I’m on the hunt for some sponsorships to cover costs, and I’ll also be pushing the Patreon more aggressively to grow the base of grassroots donors (HOPE not hate is transferring the page to me so starting next month, your donations will go directly to me.) If your company or organization is interested in sponsoring, please reply to this email so that I can send you a proposal.
It blows my mind that I’ve been doing this for three years now and that the newsletter feels just as necessary now as it did when I first got a notion to do it. It also feels strange to celebrate our anniversary before what’s going to be a huge transition. I’m not sure what CARD will look like in 2020 but I’m committed to continuing at least through the next election. Thank you, always, for being with me on the journey.
Understanding the Relationship Between the Far Right and Climate Change
By Simon Murdoch
Recent events have seen climate change high on the agenda for the right – whether they like it or not. Last week Britain’s Boris Johnson and The Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, declined a TV debate on the topic and so were replaced by ice sculptures, whilst protests in Hungary highlighted a division on the issue between the public and the ruling Fidesz party.
This week, Farage’s party saw Extinction Rebellion protestors storm a party branch office dressed as bees, whilst Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held out firmly against Trump’s stance on climate change at COP25 in Spain, the 25th annual meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which runs from 2-13 December.
The political landscape on climate change is certainly in flux. As the Financial Times’ Tony Barber highlighted this week, though new progressive movements are emerging, “the environmentalist cause is [becoming] more diverse” with “politicians of all stripes, not least on the populist right” stepping up to try and shape responses to climate change in a manner that suits their goals.
HOPE not hate Senior Researcher, Joe Mulhall, spoke at Data & Society this week on the topic, providing a brilliant overview on the relationship today between the far right and climate change. The talk also includes exclusive new polling across six countries around the world to help us better understand this relationship.
To get to grips with these developments, check out Joe’s talk here.
- A new report out from John Feffer and the Institute for Policy Studies: The Battle for a New World: The Progressive Response to the New Right. “The global response to this organizing on the far right has been muted. Those who oppose the far right have been focusing their efforts largely at a local and national level. Meanwhile, global threats such as climate change, a widening gap between rich and poor, and entrenched militarism require more, not less, international cooperation.”
- New polling from Amnesty International reveals that 7 in 10 People Want Governments to Regulate Big Tech Over Personal Data Fears. “Nearly 10,000 people were polled on their attitudes to online privacy and Big Tech across nine countries: Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Norway, South Africa and the USA.”
- Manipulation Machines. How Disinformation Campaigns Suppress the Black Vote (Columbia Journalism Review)
- I Worked for Alex Jones. I Regret It. (New York Times)
- Inside the Hate Factory: How Facebook Fuels Far-Right Profit (The Guardian)
- Why Racists (and Liberals!) Keep Writing for Quillette (The Nation)
- The ‘Ukraine Did It’ Conspiracy Theory is Dangerous: Here’s Why (The Hill)
- How to Fight Lies, Tricks, and Chaos Online (The Verge)
- Republican Running to Challenge Rep. Ilhan Omar Has Twitter Account Permanently Suspended (CNN)
Want even more links? Support us on Patreon to receive a second ICYMI post just for CARD members.
That’s all for now. Let’s chat again next week!