White Supremacy Search Trends in United States

Moonshot partnered with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to analyze US search traffic in response to the threats posed by white supremacist narratives and ideology in the US this past year. The dominant socio-political events of 2020-2021—the COVID-19 pandemic, the widespread BLM protests and counter-protests, and the presidential election—coalesced to create fertile ground for white supremacists and other violent extremist movements to mobilize and recruit.

From 18 August 2020 – 7 March 2021, we recorded 511,759 white supremacist searches across the United States. We identified trends such as anti-Black search traffic, interest in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and a sustained appetite for “The Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. Ultimately, we found that offline events seemed to catalyze search traffic for extremist content online.

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