Digitalization and the Musical Mediation of Anti-Democratic Ideologies in Alt-Right Forums

Popular music research has explored digital technologies’ potential for democratizing music consumption, distribution, and production. This article, however, focuses on the anti-democratic implications of digitalization for popular music by exploring discussions of music in 1,173 posts in 6 Alt-Right forums, from 2010–2018. It demonstrates that, first, owing to algorithmic architecture, interpretations of musical politics are mutually reinforcing in these spaces. Second, a large degree of musical “omnivorousness” in these forums is both a feature of contemporary far-right strategy and a consequence of digitalization. Third, by articulating “reactionary democratic” principles through music criticism, these movements more easily evade regulation.

Tags: alt-right, democratization, Extreme Right, Extremism, far-right, music