Current Affairs Internet Politics

Broadsheet.ie, The Alt-Right, And The Oxygen Of Publicity

I notice that the broadsheet.ie, an Irish current affairs and culture blog with Buzzfeedian ambitions, has got itself into a bit of bother following a recent article on anti-immigrant sentiment in Ireland; sentiment being whipped up by a handful of cranks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Unfortunately it had to remove the offending post from the website because of legal threats by a named individual. All this came after a prolonged period of one or two anonymous writers on the group-blog playing footsie with some pretty obnoxious parties and characters on the political hard-right, providing a platform for Irexiteers, anti-vaxxers, Hibernian Trumpists and the like. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been bombarded with messages from a couple of online reactionary types demanding an opportunity to air their beliefs on An Sionnach Fionn. While I’m all for free speech, it doesn’t mean that I have to provide it to a positively dangerous ideology. So, unlike some other publications, ASF is quite prepared to say to its far-right critics: go fuck yourselves!

Happy Friday! 🙂

10 comments on “Broadsheet.ie, The Alt-Right, And The Oxygen Of Publicity

  1. Some very nasty videos on You Tube purporting to be coming from Ireland full of bile against Muslims etc and getting big viewer hits sadly.

  2. Alan Gordon

    Your last sentence? 👍👍

  3. That’s a bizarre thing ASF – though it shows how good your site is that people want in. Freedom of speech is available to anyone with the inclination to get a site up and running on the internet. Freedom to use someone elses platform is a completely different thing. Got a bit of that over the years – people complaining that they weren’t allowed to have posts (or actually worse – long long comments) on say anti-vaxx stuff or whatever. My answer was always why should I when I don’t believe it and have spent years with others generating an environment and if they wanted to put in the hard work doing the same they could post up anything to their hearts content.

    • The two guys both have subscriptions in the tens of thousands and probably weekly views many times that. So way, way, way above my league. I think they just got the hump because I was dissing their beliefs. I actually didn’t mention either by name but their egos kicked in and they assumed they had to be the targets (it was actually another couple of pseudo-intellectual far-right morons). Maybe the written word still has some sort of cachet? In terms of “blogging”, YouTube is where it’s at. But most of them still reference written articles for news and politics. Or maybe written pieces turns up quicker in SEO results and are more “evergreen” to the likes of Google and Bing?

      When I was focusing on Generation Identity a while ago they started hitting me with messages trying to persuade me to their point of view and looking for rights of reply. I pretty much ignored that.

      Totally agree with you on the platform thing.

      I’d be quite happy to post mainstream political views contrary to my own. I’d actually like that, if it could spark discussion and what have you. But I have no interest it giving far-rightists any type of platform.

      I’m quite liberal on the comments on ASF. Usually because the more extreme commentators invariably undermine their own arguments with their very extremism. Thankfully I haven’t had to step in that often.

      • That’s good to hear. There’s an ego thing definitely in that sort of demanding behaviour. I think you’re right too, the written word, well, that’s the base, that’s validation in some respects. All this stuff is ephemeral, but some of it is more ephemeral than other parts of it.

  4. BRIAN PATTERSON

    Maith thú a Shionnaigh. You only have to mention travellers, Muslims, Nigerians or Romany and there is a feeding frenzy of racist hatred in the comment columns of Journal.ie which appears to have no effective moderation mechanisms to counter race_hatred. Then of course the odious publication ‘liberal.ie revels in (at best ) xenophobia. Glad to see ASF does not tolerate hate speech.

    • Thanks, and I quite agree. I have to say, if the comments’ sections on thejournal.ie represented the opinions of a majority of Irish voters, the National Party and Irexit Party would be in coalition government with FG, FF and SF making up a minority Opposition. There is some absolutely atrocious far-right trolling on that site.

  5. What is the “deal” with the anti-vaccine thing in Ireland?

    In many countries (France, UK, Germany, Lebanon, US, Mexico, Argentina) it followed a pattern of having been around for a while in mostly very small minority religions who believed vaccinations were contrary to their beliefs. (Where I grew this was mostly Fundamantalist LDS-who are very different from the LDS knocking on your door in Ireland.) Then it morphed from fringe sects to a trend among people who take the idea of natural health to unusual extremes for a while. Only recently has it become part of the political right.

    Did Ireland ever have religious minorities who opposed vaccinations?

    The Irish citizen I know who is anti-vaccine falls into the “extreme natural health” category. My mother is always arguing with about it-being very proud of having been in the major polio vaccine study.”

    The aunt of this woman pointed out to me that her ilk is into homeopathy (really ironic for anti-vaccine ideology) and tends to dismiss Irish herbalism-Who would prefer a stupid German Victorian theory to Irish herbalism is beyond me!!!!

    • Personally I blame Oswald Spengler and all that stuff about science draining the vital spirits of the (white, male) ‘West’.
      Enormously influential at a time of cultural and economic pivot (Early 20th C) and his legacies keep coming back to damage us.

  6. Good fox yourself for having the energy to wade through all that shite and to try to counter it.

    I remember battling online with global warming / climate catastrophe deniers – man it was draining. At some point no-platforming has to happen, if only in terms on energy conservation.

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