British extreme right-wing sexual violence, new analysis finds

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A culture that actively promotes sexual violence as a political weapon has taken root among the far right, and pro-rape comments are not uncommon in extremist spaces online, a new analysis suggests.

The far right is also adept at orienting people with anti-feminist prejudices towards racism and anti-Semitism, according to a report produced by the British advocacy group Hope Not Hate and the charity Antisemitism Policy Trust.

The report comes after the shooting of five people in Plymouth by a 22-year-old man obsessed with ‘incel culture’ last month. Jake Davison committed suicide, his mother and four others in the UK’s first fatal mass shooting in over a decade.

The murder of teacher Sabina Nessa has also sparked conversations about gender-based violence in the UK and whether women’s safety has improved since the murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer on duty.

Hope Not Hate researchers analyzed messages in far-right discussion groups on the Telegram messaging app, concluding that there was a “high level of tolerance for overt misogyny” and that homophobic comments were also common.

“Misogyny generally had a sexualized dimension,” the report said, adding, “the word ‘bitch’ followed closely behind ‘bitch’ as ​​the most popular misogynist pejorative.” The report also states that reference to rape and comments encouraging sexual violence were common in these spaces.

Telegram is only part of a “larger ecosystem” of prejudice, according to Hope Not Hate, but is not taking appropriate action against the hate rhetoric shared on its software. The independent has contacted Telegram for comment.

In addition, a Hope Not Hate poll found that anti-feminist attitudes are prevalent in all walks of life, but particularly among young men who can get caught up in ‘antagonistic troll culture’ and ‘false theories of war’. conspiracy ”. More than a third of 16-24 year olds in Britain believe feminism is an ideology that displaces men, researchers have found.

The government will attempt to tackle harmful online content through the Online Safety Bill, released in May, which aims to improve regulation of the Internet. But that shouldn’t deter renewed efforts to target hate online, according to the Anti-Semitism Policy Trust.

Managing Director Danny Stone said: “The government’s next online security bill will target online damage, but the approach should not be siled. Intersectional violence (…) must be recognized and addressed for the pernicious double harm it constitutes. ”


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