The Daily Stormer

The Daily Stormer
The Daily Stormer logo
(logo)
Type of site
neo-Nazi, alt-right commentary, message board
Available inEnglish, Spanish, Italian, dailystormer.su (As of February 5, 2020)
Alexa rankDecreaseAlexa rankDecrease58,910 (Global January 2020)
CommercialNo
RegistrationRequired to comment
LaunchedJuly 4, 2013; 6 years ago (2013-07-04)

The Daily Stormer is an American far-right neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and Holocaust denial commentary and message board website that advocates for the genocide of Jews.[1][2][3][4] It considers itself a part of the alt-right movement.[5] Its editor, Andrew Anglin, founded it on July 4, 2013, as a faster-paced replacement for his previous website Total Fascism. The website also publishes its content in Spain and Latin America, Italy and Greece.

The site is known for its use of Internet memes, which have been likened to the imageboard 4chan and cited as attractions for a younger and more ideologically diverse audience.[6] While some white nationalist authors have praised The Daily Stormer's reach, others have taken issue with its content and tone, accusing Anglin of being an agent provocateur, used to discredit true white nationalism.[7]

The Daily Stormer orchestrates what it calls the "Troll Army", which is involved in Internet trolling of figures with whom Anglin disagrees politically. In August 2017, after causing outrage by insulting the victim of a car-ramming homicide at the far-right Unite the Right rally, the website was rejected by several domain registrars.[8][9][10][11][12]

In June 2019, a federal judge ordered Anglin to pay $4.1 million to comedian Dean Obeidallah, whom Anglin had falsely accused of orchestrating the Manchester Arena bombing.[13] In July 2019, a federal magistrate recommended that Anglin pay $14 million to Tanya Gersh, a woman from Whitefish, Montana whom Anglin had organized a targeted harassment campaign against.[14]

In August 2019, the site went offline temporarily when their service provider, BitMitigate, was cut off by their cloud infrastructure provider; the site found another provider.[15]

Management

Founder

Andrew Anglin was born on July 27, 1984, and grew up near Columbus, Ohio.[16][17] According to both Anglin and his childhood classmates, he was liberal as a youth.[17][18] He attended the Linworth Alternative Program and the Worthington Kilbourne High School from 1999 to 2003, where he was remembered as a dreadlocked vegan.[19] His friends in high school report that his behavior changed during his sophomore year at Linworth, where he exhibited self-harming behavior, and began promoting conspiracy theories.[17] After high school, Anglin took classes at Columbus State Community College in 2003, and studied English at Ohio State University for one semester in 2004.[17][19]

In 2006 Anglin launched a conspiracy theory website, Outlaw Journalism, which was modeled after the works of Alex Jones and Hunter S. Thompson, whom Anglin admired.[17]

In 2008, after posting on Outlaw Journalism that the only way for humanity to survive was to return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, Anglin began traveling around Southeast Asia, eventually ending up in Davao City, in the Philippines. In 2011, he spent several weeks with a Tboli village in southern Mindanao, where he initially intended to stay permanently, selling some of his possessions to raise money for a dowry to marry two local Muslim women.[17] In 2012, Anglin wrote that he found the locals to be "a civilized, non-aggressive and industrious people" but he eventually came to consider them too "primitive", became lonely and only wanted to associate with members of his own race, and "By the Grace of God, I found Adolf Hitler".[19]

In 2012, Anglin launched another website, Adventure Quest 2012, which discussed conspiracy theories such as the existence of reptilian humanoids. He described the aim of the site as seeking to "mend the wounds produced by modern society ... and [help] the reader transcend these physical bonds and reach total ascendancy. To mend these wounds, the world must learn to embrace diversity and color."[19] In 2014, he stated that although he agreed with the central tenets of Nazism, he had reservations over reintroducing all aspects of Hitler's regime.[18] A self-proclaimed "troll", Anglin stated that he was introduced to Nazism on the online imageboard 4chan.[20] Later in 2012, he launched his first neo-Nazi website, Total Fascism.[18] Feeling that Total Fascism was not appealing to a younger demographic and had articles that were too long, Anglin launched The Daily Stormer on July 4, 2013, with shorter articles and a more provocative style.[18] Anglin said in March 2014 he spends 70 hours a week writing for the website.[18]

Anglin's location is not known. An investigative article by The Huffington Post in November 2016 analyzed his social media and FBI sources, and concluded that he was living in Germany. Rumors have also claimed that he is residing in Russia.[19] In July 2017, Anglin told CNN he was residing in Lagos, Nigeria.[21] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists the site as being headquartered in Worthington, Ohio, with activity in several other states.[22][23] The website is registered in the name of Anglin's father Greg, who runs a Christian-inspired counseling service in Worthington.[24]

Finances

The Daily Stormer is primarily funded through donations which Anglin solicits regularly from site visitors.[24] His father was protested against by Anti-Racist Action for receiving donations from the site's readers to pass on to his son.[19] In February 2017, the website announced a corporate sponsor—Smerff Electrical, owned by Simon Hickey of Brisbane, Australia,[19] whose website contains images of alt-right meme Pepe the Frog.[25] Anglin told Mother Jones that he received donations from Silicon Valley, and that Santa Clara County, California was the largest source of traffic to his website.[26]

The site is believed to have received over $200,000 in Bitcoin contributions since it began accepting the cryptocurrency in 2014. A current cryptocurrency wallet has consistently kept approximately $80,000 in Bitcoin on hand.[citation needed] Money entering and being spent by the accounts is publicly tracked by a Twitter bot.[27] A Twitter account supportive of the Stormer announced that Coinbase was deleting accounts of persons attempting to send Bitcoin to them; Coinbase stated in general terms that it "prohibits use of an account which would abuse, harass, threaten, or promote violence against others".[28] On August 20, 2017, for example, Anglin received a donation of 14.88 bitcoin, the number being a reference to Fourteen Words, and to Adolf Hitler (H is the eighth letter, so "88" = "HH" = "Heil Hitler"). At the time, it was worth $60,000, but had Anglin kept the entire amount, it would have been worth about $235,000 by the end of the year.[29]

The Daily Stormer is run through a company called Moonbase Holdings, with Anglin saying that he chose the name so that donors could avoid scrutiny from their credit card companies. The company made $3,400 per month on the alt-right crowdfunding website Hatreon, which ceased operations in February 2017. In his defamation lawsuit against Anglin, Muslim American radio personality Dean Obeidallah requested that Moonbase Holdings be scrutinized to find any other individuals with connections to the company.[30]