How dark corners collude: a study on an online Chinese alt-right community

The rise of the ‘alt-right’ (alternative right) and their communications on the Internet are not unique to the West. This study follows a mixed-methods approach combining topic modeling, social network analysis, and discourse analysis to analyze the discursive and network structure of an online Chinese alt-right community on Weibo. We summarize the topics Chinese alt-right influencers discuss and examine how these topics are interrelated. We find that the Chinese alt-right discourse can be deemed as both an extension and localization of the global alt-right: they frequently discuss global alt-right issues and also hold alt-right ideologies on domestic issues. Meanwhile, influencers in the community are densely connected, suggesting a high level of coordination and cooperation. We particularly identify two discursive strategies that alt-right influencers employ to reproduce the transnational alt-right discourse, namely invented common crisis of majority culture and transnational metaphor usage. These findings provide insights into the transnational aspect of the rise of global alt-right.

Tags: alt-right, China, Extreme Right, Weibo