For those of us who write online for a living, style guides clue us in to what our editors expect. The expectations include, of course, grammar, spelling, et al., but also frequently include suggestions that help shape a website’s content into a more unified whole. HuffPost claims to have obtained The Daily Stormer’s style guide, which they say proves that the alt-right site’s intent is to spread racist hate.
“HuffPost has acquired the 17-page document in its entirety, as well as transcripts from an IRC channel where the document was shared in an effort to recruit new writers,” the article stated. “It’s more than a style guide for writing internet-friendly neo-Nazi prose; it’s a playbook for the alt-right.” The article went on to say, “The site’s stylistic decisions, the subjects it covers, the specific racial slurs it employs — all are consciously chosen for the purpose of furthering The Daily Stormer’s ultimate goal, which, according to the style guide itself, is ‘to spread the message of nationalism and anti-Semitism to the masses.'”
“The guide is particularly interested in ways to lend the site’s hyperbolic racial invective a facade of credibility and good faith,” the article stated.
HuffPost says that The Daily Stormer’s style guide encourages its writers to use racial slurs. The guide states, “While racial slurs are allowed/recommended, not every reference to a non-white should not be a slur and their use should be based on the tone of the article. Generally, when using racial slurs, it should come across as half-joking — like a racist joke that everyone laughs at because it’s true. This follows the generally light tone of the site. It should not come across as genuine raging vitriol. That is a turnoff to the overwhelming majority of people.”
HuffPost includes a list of racial slurs the guide recommends for Daily Stormer writers. A list that I’m not going to republish because, frankly, it’s disgusting and we all know enough racial slurs without having to read them.
One of the recurring themes is that The Daily Stormer wants its writers to be especially committed to anti-Semitism. The style guide advises that “everything always comes back to the Jews.”
According to HuffPost, The Daily Stormer is motivated to disseminate hate and incite violence all while tricking non-racist people into believing that the site is nothing more than a troll site.
“Remember this style guide the next time an alt-righter says something so hammily outrageous that you begin to doubt its sincerity. This is by design,” HuffPost wrote. “The Daily Stormer and other groups like it want you to be unsure if you should take them seriously. Andrew Anglin [The Daily Stormer’s founder] wants you to think he’s just a troll, that he’s spouting incendiary crap for no other reason than to get a rise out of you. Remember that the irony and the coy misdirection are all in service of tricking people into following him on his path toward a white supremacist state. This is what he believes.”
If HuffPost is correct, and they do have a copy of The Daily Stormer’s style guide, the revelations are disturbing. Conservatives need to be careful not to lend our support to groups that promote hate and racism.