Jul 11, 2017

How the right hijacks social media

Screenshot of The_Donald via Reddit

Liberals build social platforms with idealistic notions of change and inclusivity. Conservatives then master them to more effectively achieve their political ambitions.This under-appreciated dynamic is THE story of social media politics today. We saw this as Donald Trump and his allies harnessed – and at times manipulated - Twitter and Facebook, both built by liberal idealists, to win the presidency.We see a similar dynamic unfolding on Reddit, a company built by liberals that pro-Trump trolls are mastering to spread misinformation, often under the guise of First Amendment freedom.The power of "The_Donald": Trump himself tweeted a meme that bubbled up on a sub-reddit channel fittingly called "The_Donald." The channel has become the staging ground for the conservative movement on Reddit since the site banned two alt-right accounts earlier this year for violating their policies.Culture of trolling: Conservatives on Reddit are increasingly embracing "internet raiding," and trolling, where users ban together to game polls, algorithms or news feeds. Pepe the frog (more below) has become the symbol of the trolling movement.Money quote from BuzzFeed's Charlie Warzel in his newsletter: "A way I've been thinking of it is that Trump is like an assignment editor for the trolls."Pepe rising: The frog emoji symbolizes Pepe the Frog, a popular internet cartoon (see image above) that became a symbol of the alt-right conservative movement in early 2016.The alt-right social movement trolls highly-publicized national events and controversies using the frog emoji as a symbol of solidarity. "We've seen the Pepe frog emoji show up in basically every single national event since Trump was Inaugurated," Akash Nigam CEO of social analytics firm Blend, tells Axios. The frog was the most-used emoji during Trump's inauguration and the Super Bowl.

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Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 early Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials have stressed that lockdowns must continue even if cities begin to see slight improvements from social distancing. Several hot spots, including New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, are expected to peak in the coming days.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 57 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,430,453 — Total deaths: 82,133 — Total recoveries: 301,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 399,081 — Total deaths: 12,907 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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