Author: Ali Breland

A Republican Stood Up to Trump. So Right-Wingers Smeared Him as a “Pedophile.”

If you didn’t know any better, you could be forgiven for assuming that the far right was waging a campaign to get Merriam-Webster to add “my political enemies” to its list of definitions of “pedophile.” For years, “pedophile” (often shortened to “pedo”) was used as semi-ironic 4chan shorthand for anyone internet trolls thought was a weirdo. […]

Mass Shootings and Our Never-ending Doomcycle

The beats are almost always the same.  A shooter enters a crowded space with a loaded gun, usually one modified to kill dozens of people in seconds—and usually one that they obtained legally. They open fire and murder innocents. Earlier this month it was 10 patrons at a Buffalo supermarket; this week it was 19 children […]

Is “Dark MAGA” Actually Anything?

In March, a friend texted me a screenshot of a Twitter Spaces conversation about what looked like a potential new movement on the online right: “Dark MAGA.” No one had covered it yet. I had the coveted chance to break some news. Except, there was a snag: After I started looking around it was clear there […]

QAnon’s Chief Enabler Ran a Website Where He Brushed Off Concerns About Pedophilic Content

The QAnon conspiracy has always stood on a morbidly ironic contradiction: “Q,” the pseudonymous poster who claimed to be a government insider batlling elite liberal pedophiles, infamously became a phenomenon by posting on 8chan, a website where users had allegedly established a child porn swapping network. 8chan’s proprietor is Jim Watkins—an American but often Philippines-based pornographer, pig farmer, and […]

Militias Still Have a Safe Space on YouTube

Much of the public scrutiny toward militia groups has focused on national outfits whose members were indicted for sedition, obstructing congressional proceedings, or bringing a firearm to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Tech companies have accordingly tried to limit the groups’ presence on their platforms. But a new report published Friday by the […]

The Pope Calls for Peace in Ukraine

Pope Francis called for peace in Ukraine in an Easter address before a crowd of tens of thousands in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, in the first such gathering to mark the holiday since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.  “We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have […]