Back in September, Vox Day, a Gamergate holdover who has assumed the position of racist alt-right figurehead, published a handful of brief excerpts from what he described as the “Andrew Anglin” style guide. For the blissfully unaware, Anglin is a neo-Nazi troll and propagandist who runs The Daily Stormer, one of the more prominent sites of the white supremacist web. The passages selected by Vox Day in his blog post suggested that Anglin is persnickety about detail and presentation ― except on the subject of the Jews, who are to be blamed “for everything.”
HuffPost has acquired the 17-page document in its entirety, as well as transcripts from an IRC channel where the document was shared in an effort to recruit new writers. It’s more than a style guide for writing internet-friendly neo-Nazi prose; it’s a playbook for the alt-right.
The style guide, according to Vox Day, was a set of directives for whoever might be writing under Anglin’s name, the idea being that Anglin’s army of ghostwriters need to maintain some sense of consistent style. But the guide appears to be for all of the site’s writers, many of whom write under their own names (or at least their own pseudonyms).
Last Friday, in an IRC channel, Andrew Auernheimer, a white supremacist hacker and Daily Stormer system administrator also known as Weev, began explaining to a group of people how one might start writing for The Daily Stormer:
okay basically, it works like this, you can write articles, if we dont like them you can put them on your own blog or whatever, if we accept them for publication we will pay you $14.88
“Fourteen,” of course, alludes to the 14 words in the old David Lane slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The double eights refer to the eighth letter of the alphabet (“HH” or “Heil Hitler”). The number 1488 is a common shibboleth among white supremacists. We’re sure they find this extremely clever.
When one person asked if the site had any paid positions open, Weev dropped in a link and wrote, “theres style guide read the site for a couple weeks, get a hang of the style and editorial tone [sic]” followed immediately by “learn the style guide.”
Like any such guide, this one contains plenty of discussion about the more mundane aspects of blog hygiene — grammar, formatting, quirks of house style. “‘Muslim’ should be spelled ‘Moslem,’” it notes at one point.
This is mostly indistinguishable from any other blog, whatever its opinions on genocide. While The Daily Stormer might seem like an amateur operation — if only because it’s mostly run by a single guy — it is certainly not screwing around when it comes to presentation.
This is no accident. The site’s stylistic decisions, the subjects it covers, the specific racial slurs it employs — all are consciously chosen for the purpose of furthering The Daily Stormer’s ultimate goal, which, according to the style guide itself, is “to spread the message of nationalism and anti-Semitism to the masses.” Everything is deliberate.
The guide is particularly interested in ways to lend the site’s hyperbolic racial invective a facade of credibility and good faith. Or at the very least, in how to confuse its readers to the point where they can’t tell the difference. The Daily Stormer, for instance, uses block quotes for much the same reason Richard Spencer stuffs himself into vests. In explaining why a writer should heavily block-quote mainstream news articles, the guide notes that it allows writers to borrow some of mainstream media’s air of scrupulousness and good hygiene.
The Daily Stormer also takes steps to mimic what’s already familiar, couching its caustic ideology in something comfortable and easy to digest. More specifically, it’s mimicking the defunct website Gawker (where, full disclosure, I used to work).
While Anglin claims to strive “to cover as much news as any mainstream news site,” as well as “anything that people are talking about,” his Google News alerts hint at a much more specific focus that would best be described as “Hey, let’s have a race war.”
While the site ostensibly takes care not to explicitly endorse violence, Anglin and his staffers know exactly what it takes to send their readers into a frenzy.
They also take pains to try and not turn off any readers who might be just starting to flirt with white supremacy. Again, this manifests itself in a concerted effort to mix the vicious and the mundane, which mainstream outlets have also accomplished, though entirely by accident.
As for what those racial slurs should be, Anglin is happy to clarify.
Women, of course, get their own set of epithets.
Slurs get hammered, vitriol gets mixed in with The New York Times’ facts, and everything always comes back to the Jews. Anglin is very explicit about what he’s doing here: He’s recruiting.
The redundancies are obvious to anyone who gives the site as much as a passing glance. After all, there are only so many ways to say “all misery is the work of a secret cabal of globalist Jewish bankers” before you start repeating yourself. Still, it is jarring to read Anglin explain — in such clear-eyed terms, no less — how he actively uses “curiosity or the naughty humor” to draw people in. It’s easy to think they are probably being deliberately manipulative. But it’s also easy to think that a white supremacist recruiting conspiracy is insane and you’re being too paranoid.
You’re not being too paranoid.
And just in case you didn’t quite get the message, Anglin goes on.
All of this is aided by a veil of irony.
Let’s see that one more time.
This is obviously a ploy and I actually do want to gas kikes. But that’s neither here nor there.
Remember this the next time you find yourself wondering if perhaps they don’t mean it quite like that. Because they always, always do.
And as with any good white supremacist platform, The Daily Stormer puts a heavy emphasis on memes (“fresh memes are best but old memes are good too”). This is largely to aid in the digestion of garbage.
Anglin once again points to a popular liberal site (this time, BuzzFeed) as a model for smuggling in neo-Nazism. Also, 50 Cent.
You can easily find Anglin’s “In Da Club” rendition if you so choose. It evinces a disappointing sense of meter and rhyme on the part of the master race.
You can find me in the club, bottle full of tea
Look mami I got the Moroccan hash if you into getting headaches
I’m into gang-rape, I ain’t into making love
So come give me a hug if you into to getting trafficked
As always there is a larger aim here: to humanize inhumanity. And meanwhile, he exhorts his writers to dehumanize their opponents — dehumanize them, he writes, “to the point where people are ready to laugh at their deaths.”
As for how to incite violence without explicitly calling for it, Anglin has plenty of ideas.
The constant line-toeing and the deliberate muddying of intentions and meaning can have a dizzying effect, especially for media outlets that aren’t used to grappling with such bad actors. Anglin knows this, and he is doing everything in his power to exploit it.
Remember this style guide the next time an alt-righter says something so hammily outrageous that you begin to doubt its sincerity. This is by design. The Daily Stormer and other groups like it want you to be unsure if you should take them seriously. Andrew Anglin wants you to think he’s just a troll, that he’s spouting incendiary crap for no other reason than to get a rise out of you. Remember that the irony and the coy misdirection are all in service of tricking people into following him on his path toward a white supremacist state. This is what he believes.
You can read the style guide in its entirety below.