In 2015, the dark forces of the Internet became a counterculture

In 2015 it became clear, obvious even, that various reactionary forces have coalesced into a larger, coherent counterculture — let’s call it the Chanterculture — that exists not just in opposition to racial diversity in politics and culture, but in order to advance its own agenda, which across a variety of fronts seeks to preserve and promote the cultural and political preeminence of white guys. This new movement, and it is a movement, combines age-old racist and sexist rhetoric with bleeding-edge meme culture and technology. It unites two equally irrepressible camps behind an ironclad belief in the duty to say hideous things: the threatened white men of the internet and the “I have no soul” lulzsters.

Perhaps the most obvious example where these things came together was in the rise of #cuckservative — a racist epithet as hashtag, born of online porn, illustrated with memes. But there are plenty of other cases. Chan posters harassing the internet sleuths who discovered Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s manifesto. 8chan trolls posting to Twitter as “black looters” during the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore. A legion of horribles chasing Ellen Pao from Reddit for trying to make it marginally less hateful. A shock tactics internet comedy troupe threatening the life of a female game developer for lulz. “Black Hermione.” It goes on.