At age 13, a young boy started a new school. Lonely and desperate to make new friends, he turned to Reddit, where he got hooked looking at far-right memes. While he initially thought they were wrong, he became more and more curious about the hateful worldview they espoused. So he turned to Google and YouTube, where he found information that seemed to verify the distorted facts he was seeing in the hundreds of memes he viewed daily as a moderator.
Today, he’s 16, and he’s had a chance to reflect on what would become a brief flirtation with the alt-right, culminating in attending a rally for Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.
Read his anonymous first-person essay
about his descent into the alt-right, how he climbed back out, and what he learned about the insidious role that big tech platforms play in the radicalization of young men online.