The offline roots of online radicalization

Yes, it’s understandable for conservatives to worry that if Silicon Valley censors the likes of Molyneux, it will end up censoring them. It’s sensible for them to join parts in the left in worrying about the concentrated power over information that the stewards of social-media platforms enjoy. And it’s necessary for them to recognize that the influence of redpillers and white-identitarians reflects their own failure, across the decades of movement-conservative institution building, to create something that seems more compelling to fugitives from liberalism than the Spirit of the Reddit Thread.

With all that said, though, a humane conservatism should still be able to thrive in a world where white nationalists have trouble monetizing their extremism, in which YouTube algorithms are built to maximize something other than addiction. And the endpoint of both the Times and Washingtonian profiles, in which personal contact with real-life alt-righters and counterarguments from online left-wingers suffice to pull the main characters away from the far right, suggests that the current Very Online alternative to liberalism is not necessarily built to last.