Going Dark: White supremacists, Isis brides, tradwives and incels

Book review: Julia Ebner explores how online extremists spread their message

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photograph: Edu Bayer/The New York Times

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photograph: Edu Bayer/The New York Times

The internet arrived in our house when I was in my very late teens, around the turn of the millennium. Data moved as slowly as molasses through the ancient modem. None of my university accommodation was ever connected to the internet, so using email or web browsing meant a trip to the library. Smartphones only became established when I was in my mid-20s and already working as a journalist.

But despite having lived a lot of life either without the internet, or without much access to the internet, I struggle to remember what that life was like. Such is the glut of connectivity, and such is my own structural reliance on that connectivity, that I cannot say with any certainty which parts of life and work were better or worse before I had it.

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