What started out as a semi-funny Internet joke, stemming from the “Jafaican” accent and overall demeanor of celebrated Hollywood actor Tom Hanks’ very white son Chet Hanks, is now being seen by many officials as a veiled code of conduct for tech-savvy white supremacists.
So, are you ready for the “white boy summer” happening soon across America? It might be best for us melanated folk to get prepared.
A recent report from AP News focused on an alarming rate of young white men “building thriving, macho communities across social media platforms like Instagram, Telegram and TikTok, evading detection with coded hashtags and innuendo.” Tactics range from posting videos in hopes of inciting a race riot (seen above) to hacking hashtags in support of issues like abortion, guns, immigration and LGBTQ rights with hate-filled messages and even digital threats. It’s even believed to be linked to the horror that occurred in Buffalo, New York last month, especially given that 18-year-old shooter Payton Gendron posted plans of his attack online for months.
More on this alarming trend below, via AP:
“The heightened concern comes just weeks after a white 18-year-old entered a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, with the goal of killing as many Black patrons as possible. He gunned down 10.
That shooter claims to have been introduced to neo-Nazi websites and a livestream of the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque shootings on the anonymous, online messaging board 4Chan. In 2018, the white man who gunned down 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue shared his antisemitic rants on Gab, a site that attracts extremists. The year before, a 21-year-old white man who killed 23 people at a Walmart in the largely Hispanic city of El Paso, Texas, shared his anti-immigrant hate on the messaging board 8Chan.
References to hate-filled ideologies are more elusive across mainstream platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Telegram. To avoid detection from artificial intelligence-powered moderation, users don’t use obvious terms like ‘white genocide’ or ‘white power’ in conversation.”
The wild ways being spotted online include users putting a Christian cross emoji in their profile bio and using terms like “anglo” or “pilled,” to even using Chet’s own song “White Boy Summer” to celebrate the Roe v. Wade draft leak. Although monitoring is currently happening across many platforms to delete accounts participating in this behavior, the Internet is unfortunately a wide-reaching place. In short, you simply can’t catch everything.
Stay safe this summer, y’all.
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