Musk allows international white nationalist network back on Twitter despite connections to violence. YouTube is a superspreader.
The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism’s (GPAHE) 2020 investigative report and advocacy around the online presence of the international, white nationalist network Generation Identity (GI) and other Identitarians resulted in Twitter deplatforming dozens of accounts and YouTube grudgingly removing one (Facebook had already deplatformed the network, but Meta now hosts some Identitarian content on its platforms as detailed below). The report highlighted GI’s racist and violent tendencies and its spread of the dangerous “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, a movement dedicated to the belief that white people are deliberately being replaced, or even genocided, by non-white people, in their own countries. Adherents blame “elitists” and “globalists,” or Jews, for orchestrating the replacement. The conspiracy theory, spread online and by far-right political figures transnationally, has inspired mass murders in Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, and multiple mass shootings in the United States, including Pittsburgh and El Paso, and more recently, Buffalo and Jacksonville, Florida.
The Christchurch, N.Z., shooter who, in 2019, murdered 51 people at a mosque and attempted to murder another 40 named the conspiracy theory as inspiration in his writings and was found to have made a donation to the GI movement. The New Zealand Royal Commission dedicated to investigating the Christchurch attacks pointed at YouTube content as a key radicalization factor. Since then, American terrorists have praised the NZ murderer and named the replacement conspiracy theory as a primary motivator for their terror attacks. The Buffalo shooter who killed 10 Black people at a grocery store in 2022 specifically pointed to YouTube as a source of information in his writings. In 2021, a family of Muslims were attacked, with four killed leaving a lone 9 year-old survivor, in Canada. During the attacker’s 2023 trial, it was revealed that he kept a USB thumb drive with the NZ shooter’s entire “The Great Replacement” manifesto stored on it.
While Twitter deplatformed 32 GI chapters and other Identitarian accounts immediately following our 2020 report, GPAHE has found that two-thirds of the remaining previously-monitored Identitarian accounts are now free to post on Twitter, including those reinstated following Musk’s takeover and accounts created to evade previous bans. Since GPAHE’s original list didn’t cover the entire Identitarian network, we have now documented dozens of accounts, old and new, on the platform.
YouTube only removed one account immediately following our 2020 report, and now GPAHE has found 56 percent of remaining Identitarian accounts from the original 2020 report still on YouTube. Not only are their videos still live, but active accounts have grown their follower counts by a staggering 140 percent. Just like with Twitter, numerous Identitarian and GI-affiliated accounts have been discovered, with large followings gained through hateful and racist rhetoric.
Three years and many tragic deaths later, it’s clear that neither Twitter nor YouTube have taken the Identitarian threat seriously. And Facebook and Instagram still have a lot of work to do. Whether these accounts are for Generation Identity chapters, those who claim to be Identitarian, or individuals who callously spread the racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy and related content online, all of these accounts have the same racist purpose and play a role in the violence we’ve seen. As long as social media platforms allow these dangerous organizations and individuals a megaphone, they must bear some responsibility for the harm that inevitably follows.
A transnational white supremacist network is born
Génération Identitaire (GI) emerged in 2012 from the original youth faction of Les Identitaires (formerly Bloc Indentitaire), an Identitarian political movement in France which propagandized that France and Europe were being “Islamicized” and spread the racist idea that people of non-European descent and immigrants should be “remigrated” back to their supposed home countries so that they can not dilute historically white European populations. GI sets itself apart as a network with a comprehensive PR plan, slick videos, media interviews, clean-cut looks, and the positioning of women at the front of their rallies. They launched with their “A Declaration of War” video, translated into English and French, and then reissued in German by de facto GI leader, Austrian Martin Sellner. The video can be found on multiple channels on YouTube and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Since then, members of GI and affiliates across Europe have been engaged in dozens of discriminatory – and sometimes violent – harassing acts, hosted “trainings” to prepare for the coming race war, unfurled a giant banner calling for “justice for victims of anti-white racism,” and even staged an elaborate event to stop migrants from crossing the Alps. Many have been raided or arrested, with some receiving criminal convictions.
The French government dissolved GI in 2021, but that has not stopped GI and Identitarian members’ activities in France or across Europe. Identitarian chapters have grown and new ones have sprung up and begun mobilizing. Many are using YouTube and Twitter to spread their racist propaganda. Martin Sellner, an Austrian who has often been seen as the face of GI, has recently been sharing a cruel, anti-migrant campaign started by Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland (GI Germany) targeting potential migrants in Uganda, Ghana, and Somalia. GI has protested drag shows in Vienna and Munich, with the latter leading to the arrests of GI-connected individuals. Consistent with their advocacy for the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, GI members in Germany pushed their “remigration” agenda in May at the Mercedes Plant in Sindelfingen, posing with flyers, signs, and a “remigration bus,” demonstrating their wishes to “remigrate” (i.e., deport) immigrants. Far-right extremist political parties, such as Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany)(AfD), have adopted the term “remigration” in their campaigning, further signaling the “Great Replacement” conspiracy’s spread into mainstream politics and the dehumanization of non-white people.
Martin Sellner posts about Generation Identity’s “No way – Do not come to Europe” campaign in African countries on his English-language Telegram channel (Source: Telegram)
Tech companies react to GPAHE report
Following the 2020 publication of the GPAHE report, Twitter deplatformed 45 Identitarian and GI accounts in multiple countries, including de-facto GI leader Martin Sellner. However, YouTube only deplatformed Martin Sellner and stopped the placement of presidential ads on GI videos, refusing to address the broader extreme GI and Identitarian content on their platform or the monetization of harmful videos.
YouTube makes it clear in their hate speech policy that they “don’t allow content that promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on “ethnicity,” “gender identity and expression,” “nationality,” “race,” “immigration status,” “religion,” “sex/gender,” and “sexual orientation.” With 56 percent of YouTube accounts previously monitored by GPAHE still active, with some even monetized, the company is weak on enforcement of its own policy. Similarly, Twitter has 66 percent of previously monitored Identitarian accounts still active. Since Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform, Twitter’s Hateful Conduct Policy has been updated, and now claims to moderate against direct attacks, the usage of slurs and tropes, dehumanization, or hateful imagery “on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” With many Identitarian accounts posting overtly white supremacist and anti-LGBTQ+ content, it seems clear this policy isn’t being taken seriously by the company.
GPAHE’s follow-up investigation found new and old GI accounts producing and monetizing extremist content. In 2023, many Identitarian accounts remain active on social media, including on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Facebook took action against GI and Identitarian groups prior to the 2019 Christchurch shootings, labeling these groups as dangerous organizations. However, as the movement has expanded its network, Identitarian content and vast amounts of “Great Replacement” rhetoric continues across the platform.
YouTube has been recalcitrant in addressing GI and Identitarian accounts and labeling videos with “Great Replacement” conspiracy rhetoric, despite this conspiracy’s role in multiple mass shootings and YouTube’s stated commitment to rooting out harmful conspiracy theories. YouTube continues to act as a superspreader for “Great Replacement” content. Twitter, which suspended numerous accounts after GPAHE’s 2020 reporting and subsequent work, have quietly lifted those suspensions under Musk’s new ownership and have been platforming, placing ads next to, and sharing advertising revenue with far-right extremist accounts subscribed to Twitter Blue. Several of those accounts, including Martin Sellner’s, have been resuspended.
YouTube has Major Identitarian Problems
Of the 42 Identitarian YouTube accounts monitored by GPAHE in our 2020 report, a solitary account was deplatformed by YouTube. Of the 41 remaining, 18 more (44 percent) are no longer active. Twelve of these were German GI chapters terminated in the last few months, all of which were listed in our original report. This lack of enforcement on violative content leaves the majority of GI and Identitarian channels with the ability to publish harmful videos, and in some cases, monetize their extremism. On average, the 23 still-active accounts gained more than 30,000 subscribers since 2020. Two (nine percent) of the active YouTube accounts, Thaïs D’Escufon and Radio Lorraine Enragee, both based in France, are monetized, meaning both YouTube and Identitarian content creators are currently profiting off rhetoric that has inspired numerous mass shootings. Some notable growth in account subscribers since 2020 include Génération Identitaire (+8,500)(banned by the French government), Thaïs D’Escufon (+101,800 from 2022), TV Libertés (+527,000), Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) (+36,000 from 2022), and Radio Lorraine Enragee (+3,990). It is alarming that French accounts like Radio Lorraine Enragee (5,350 subscribers – monetized), Génération Identitaire (22,600 subscribers), and Thaïs D’Escufon (177,000 subscribers – monetized) are allowed to remain active despite Generation Identity being banned in France. Sellner created a Youtube channel on June 5th, 2023, but it is now suspended. Regardless of these suspensions, Sellner continues to evade bans through the creation of new accounts and with the help of allied Twitter accounts posting his video content. Sellner also spreads his racist propaganda on platforms like Telegram, which are less likely to ban his content. Inexplicably, the publisher of Laut Gedacht (Thinking Aloud), Alex Malenki, remains active on YouTube, while Laut Gedacht is suspended.
No accounts flagged in GPAHE’s original report had YouTube’s “Great Replacement” label attached to them.
Ex-GI spokesperson in France, Anne-Thaïs du Tertre d’Escoeuffant, known better as Thaïs D’Escufon, remains a popular Identitarian influencer on YouTube. Her videos are currently monetized and feature ads from companies like SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Expedia, TikTok, HelloFresh, Zurn, and Karrot. The videos in which she discusses the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory are also not labeled with a warning from YouTube, something that they incorrectly do based only on the title of the video rather than content. (GPAHE previously published a report on YouTube’s disingenuous and inconsistent flagging of “Great Replacement” material spurred by the Buffalo murders.) For example, Thaïs, in a video called “Progressivism vs. Islamism,” claims that considering “population replacement [to] be less serious than feminism…is a complete inversion of the problem.” She also speaks about Europe experiencing a “delirious migratory invasion” to which the “only solution is remigration” in her video “Why I don’t believe in assimilation.” In another video called “This is what you will no longer see on this channel,” she explicitly talks about her previous connections to Generation Identity, and her plans moving forward, which include the “fight against migratory invasion.” Thaïs claims this video in particular was “refused monetization… due to the images of Génération Identitaire actions.” However, other videos that talk about the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory remain monetized and lack the appropriate labeling to warn the viewer of the racist and violent nature of the conspiracy theory.
Examples of advertisements on the YouTube page of Thaïs D’Escufon, a popular Identitarian influencer.
The French Génération Identitaire YouTube channel remains up and has “Great Replacement” content unchecked. One of their videos called “in the face of Islamization, in the face of immigration,” showcasing a lecture by GI co-founder Damien Rieu, who is now a member of the white nationalist French party Reconquête, claims “Islam and immigration,” to be the primary problem in Europe. Rieu goes on to say that remigration, described as “voluntary or involuntary return of the majority of non-European settlers imported into France over the past 40 years,” is the solution, in effect suggesting ethnic cleansing. Another video by Génération Identitaire features Thaïs D’Escufon talking about “The whole TRUTH about our dissolution” accompanied by extremely racist comments insinuating that immigrants, and Muslims in particular, were “thieves, rapists or potential terrorists.”
Similarly, Les Identitaires posted a lecture by Identitarian Jean-David Cattin about identity politics and remigration. They also posted a short video echoing the 30 measures for remigration policy that Génération Identitaire sought to put into practice. Once again, there is no warning about the dangers of the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. On the video, however, there is a notice that claims that it “may be inappropriate for some users,” and prompts the user to confirm they’d like to watch it. According to YouTube’s rules, the platform may restrict a video to audiences over 18 years of age if it shows harmful or dangerous activities, nudity and sexually suggestive content, violent or graphic content, or vulgar language. YouTube stresses that a video may be given this restriction if it is “incompatible with YouTube’s Terms of Service,” meaning that even if the video is in violation, it would still be allowed to remain on the platform.
Radio Lorraine Enragée, with 5,280 subscribers is also monetized, and features ads from Expedia and Star Trek Fleet Command.
Identitäre Bautzen, which re-branded to Altstadtrevolte Bautzen in 2020, published a video where they made claims that their group supports remigration, fearing that “in 20, 30, 40 years… we will be a minority in our own country.” They also have a video currently live on YouTube called “Deport Islamists!”
The Altstadtrevolte Bautzen, formerly Identitäre Bautzen, video called “Deport Islamists!” published in November 2020. (Source: YouTube)
Groups identified for this report but not featured in GPAHE’s 2020 report make up 21 YouTube channels with just over 16,000 subscribers in multiple countries. These groups include: Identitäre Bewegung Harz, Identitäre Bewegung Würzburg und Umland, Bloc Identitaire, Argos, Wider stand, Heimatkurier, Colectif Nemesis, Auctorum, and several Junge Alternative channels, the youth arm of the German far-right party AfD, which a German court has ruled to be put under surveillance for advocating anti-constitutional racist policies.
Bloc Identitaire, which is the original name of Les Identitaires, still has their YouTube channel up and running and has retained 2,240 subscribers despite their rebranding. Their channel has an unsettling amount of “remigration” content, with 12 of their videos explicitly referencing the term in their titles. Videos discussing “Great Replacement” on the channel feature Identitarians such as Jean-David Cattin, Damien Rieu, Fabrice Robert, and the author of the 2011 book, Le Grand Remplacement, Renaud Camus. YouTube flagged the video featuring Camus with their warning about the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory but none of the others. It’s incredibly disappointing that YouTube continues to avoid taking action against “Great Replacement” content, but also unsurprising, since we reported in 2022 that YouTube tends to label content based on the video title, rather than the content itself.
A slew of videos posted by Bloc Identitaire discussing “remigration,” with nine presumably from the same conference. Only the video featuring Camus prompted the “Great Replacement” conspiracy warning. (Source: YouTube)
Amongst the other networks of far-right extremist groups on YouTube is the AfD youth-wing Junge Alternative (Young Alternative, JA). JA, and its adult counterpart AfD, have strong connections to GI and the Identitarian movement as a whole. In 2016, a high-ranking member of JA was featured in a promotion video for an Identitarian demonstration in Berlin. When questioned about ties between JA and the Identitarian movement, a spokesman for Berlin JA brushed off criticism by saying there was “no incompatibility” between “Young Alternative [and] the Identitarian movement.” In 2017, members of AfD rallied alongside GI Germany and other Identitarian influencers such as Laut Gedacht owner Alexander Kleine (better known as Alex Malenki) and Philip Thaler, which led to multiple violations of the Explosives and Assembly Act and dangerous interference with road traffic. According to ZEIT Online, Jannik Brämer, who sat on the JA state executive committee and was present at this rally, had been pictured wearing a shirt with the Identitarian lambda on it at other rallies. In April 2023, the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified JA as “right-wing extremist.” Shortly after, in July, Anna Leisten, an AfD member who was elected as an assistant to the Federal Board in Germany, was featured in a “remigration” demonstration advertised by the Identitarian groups Widerstand in Bewegung and Eisenfaust. The same month, Junge Alternative’s Facebook page announced that Discord deleted all federal, state, and individual JA accounts. In October 2023, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice upheld a decision to dismiss a judge, who is a politician with AfD, for a series of “racist and derogatory statements,” including calling Holocaust remembrance a “cult of guilt.” The judge was known to be part of the now-disbanded extreme faction of the AfD known as “Der Flügel,” which the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution cited as having “extremist intentions.” Most recently, a JA member posted on his Instagram account saying that politicians should be “hung (sic), robbed and imprisoned.”
Despite their involvement in extremism, illegal activity, and subsequent deplatforming on Discord, JA has a total of 12 chapters with YouTube channels culminating in just over 9,000 subscribers. One video, posted by Junge Alternative NRW, features Philipp Huemer, former leader of Generation Identity Vienna, has been photographed in public displaying the “ok hand gesture,” otherwise known as the “white power” symbol, and now leads the far-right news outlet “Heimatkurier,” which repeatedly features content from Martin Sellner. In the video, posted on September 19, 2023, Huemer claims that the biggest threat to Germany is “population exchange through replacement migration” and discusses Martin Sellner’s proposals for making “remigration” a reality.
Heimatkurier itself has a small presence on YouTube, with a subscriber count of 183, as it hosts the majority of its content on Rumble, which is known to harbor content from far-right extremists and violent misogynists. Rumble is also the official platform live-streaming the GOP debates. Huemer posts YouTube “shorts” (i.e., short-form content up to one minute long) like “Der Islamismus ist die größte Gefahr für Deutschland,” which translates to “Islamism is the greatest danger for Germany.”
A video posted by Junge Alternative NRW on YouTube featuring Heimatkurier’s Phillip Huemer talking about the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory and the Identitarian solution, “remigration” (Source: YouTube)
Twitter, Reclaimed Home of Identitarians
When Musk took over Twitter, our monitoring indicated that he both began lifting bans and, in many cases, ignored the resurfacing of Identitarian accounts on his platform. He’s also been engaging with Identitarian talking points, including one instance where he reposted a tweet by RadioGenoa claiming that German NGOs helping migrants in the Mediterranean were facilitating “European suicide,” and pinning their hopes on the AfD to stop it. After receiving a rebuke from the German Foreign Office for his repost, Musk responded by saying migration into Europe “has invasion vibes,” invasion being a common term used by extremists to describe the “Great Replacement.”
Of the 85 Twitter accounts monitored by GPAHE in 2020, 32 accounts belonging to GI Chapters were deplatformed by Twitter’s previous owners immediately following our report. Of the remaining 53, 35 (66 percent) still remain active on the platform, leaving around two-thirds free to push extremist ideologies – while Musk ignores the dangers. On average, active accounts gained more than 134,000 followers since 2020, with five of the most prominent European Identitarian accounts, Patrick Lenart, Ein Prozent, Alex Malenki, TV Libertés, and Thaïs D’Escufon, currently verified through Twitter Blue. Some notable growth in account followers since 2020 include ex-GI Spokesperson Thaïs D’Escufon (+33,800), who seems to keep creating new accounts and amassing a following even though she has received at least two suspensions from the platform, TV Libertés (+61,300), Alternative für Deutschland (+52,100), Alex Malenki (+2,871), and Ein Prozent (+2,500). Martin Sellner himself was also back on Twitter with 11,600 followers (-28,200) and a blue check on an account created in October 2022 until he was again suspended on August 26, 2023, following a series of house raids on GI members by German authorities. Sellner was also supported by allies on Twitter, such as one account called streamteamraven, created in June 2023, which posted all his Rumble livestreams onto Twitter until this account was also suspended on August 29.
As on YouTube, Thaïs D’Escufon continues to encourage Identitarian ideology and movements with racist speech on her verified Twitter account. While previously deplatformed once by Twitter as a result of GPAHE reporting and again for violating the Twitter rules, she has come back with a new account created in December 2022 with 33,800 followers as of early September. Worryingly, her account saw massive growth since March 2023, when she only had about 8,400 followers, demonstrating an increase of over 25,000 followers in just six months. D’Escufon has praised the actions of the Identitarian group Defend Marseille, even comparing them to GI, when they posted a banner saying “Let them go back to Africa.” D’Escufon’s post garnered over 150,000 views with over 800 reposts and 3,000 likes. In another tweet, she refers to French soccer player Karim Benzema as “l’islamo-racaille,” roughly translated as “Muslim thug.” In the same tweet, she links to former head of Generation Identity France and now-Reconquête party member Damien Rieu’s webpage. On it, he targets Benzema in a counter-lawsuit for defamation, also calls him a “l’islamo-racaille”, and asks readers for donations in order to “roll back the Islamism that plagues our country.” Rieu, now acquitted, had previously likened Benzema to terrorists after tweeting about his presence at a recently-raided Mosque (which resulted in no prosecutions) in Benzema’s birthplace, Bron, and exclaiming his desire for “the justice system to…take an interest in the financing of mosques” in Benzema’s hometown.
Thaïs D’Escufon tweets about sending immigrants “back to Africa” while looking fondly back on her time with Génération Identitaire (Source: Twitter/X)
Ein Prozent, an organization profiled in the 2020 GPAHE report and deplatformed from YouTube months later because of their promotion of the violently racist game “Heimat Defender” and deemed to be right-wing extremist by the German government, sits at 17,900 followers on Twitter, is verified, and routinely spreads “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory and anti-immigrant content. Despite their previous deplatforming because of Heimat Defender, they are advertising the release of its sequel, made by the same developer, called “The Great Rebellion.” It is supposedly based in the same world, where the player will have to battle the same enemy, the “Globohomo Corporation.” The video game already has its own Twitter account, with 1,300 followers and is even verified through Twitter Blue. Ein Prozent also links to their Telegram account, where they make posts related to “remigration,” uncovering “Islamic and Islamist associations” in Germany, and an endorsement of AfD members, such as Frank Passeman, who were “[exploring] the chances of cooperation on remigration” with Middle Eastern countries in 2018. Passeman was expelled from AfD in 2020 for “anti-party behavior and anti-Semitism.”
Twitter blue check accounts are allowed to be monetized. TV Libertés’, a French Identitarian, far-right internet TV network led by former members of Rassemblement National (National Rally), timeline features ads by the Global Cybersecurity Forum, Augurex, VectorVest, Shortwave, and BUZZNET, allowing it, along with Twitter, to profit off hate.
There are 54 Twitter accounts not previously included in the 2020 report totalling more than 300,000 followers, five of which are currently verified under Twitter Blue (X Premium). Identitarian accounts on Twitter include Generation Identity Europe, an account created in June 2023 (verified but suspended in September 2023) claiming to be the “Official Account of Generation Identity Europa,” Identity England, Les Normaux, Coleftif Nemesis, Auctorum, Des Tours et des Lys, Heimatkurier, Lyon Populaire, Argos, En Racine, Damien Rieu, and a small group of accounts posting Martin Sellner content which call themselves #StreamTeam. Junge Alternative, the youth chapter of AfD has a large network of 34 accounts totalling almost 40,000 followers on Twitter, two of which are verified under Twitter Blue. Two more “successor” groups to Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland, Aktives Hessen and Revolte Rheinland, are also on Twitter.
Twitter has clearly outlined rules about accounts attempting to evade bans. An account is not allowed to “circumvent an X suspension,” have “someone else operate on your behalf,” “imitate a suspended account if the apparent intent is to replace a suspended account,” or “allow someone who has been permanently suspended from X to permanently take over or temporarily operate” an account. Unfortunately, it seems streamteamraven’s ban mentioned above was short-lived. Sellner’s allies had a backup account created the same month ready to go, and it sits at almost 2,500 followers. In a move probably caused by the ban-wave against Sellner and his allies, a number of new “streamteam” accounts have been posting Sellner’s Rumble videos, including streamteamraven, remigrationsente, and an account called “MartinSatire,” with a profile picture of Sellner doing the “ok” hand gesture. Streamteamraven, sharing the same name as the banned account, calls itself a “specialist for #remigration” on its Twitter bio, uses #remigration in almost every tweet, and repeatedly links to Martin Sellner’s Telegram page and SubscribeStar account. The other members of Sellner’s “#Streamteam” repeatedly use the #remigration hashtag, with RemigrationsEnte even pinning a video with the hashtag #FreeSellner. This organized form of ban evasion can be explained by both the ineffectiveness of Twitter’s content moderation policies following Musk’s takeover, and the actions of Sellner himself. In January 2023, Sellner, or someone closely associated with him, started posting on a private Telegram group called “Twitterreconquista.” The channel’s stated purpose was to “build and strengthen a network of patriotic channels that can push each other and thus balance deletions” since Twitter’s “censorship…has currently noticeably lessened.” The Telegram group originally boosted Sellner’s MSLive account, then shifted to boosting #streamteam accounts. In recent weeks, it’s been posting “MartinSatire” posts, an account which tweets as if it’s Sellner himself and links to his Rumble, Subscribestar, and Telegram accounts.
Streamteamraven reposts a fellow #streamteam account called RemigrationsEnte, who posted a link to Sellner’s Rumble video discussing Elon Musk’s apparent endorsement of the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. (Source: Twitter)
Generation Identity Europe, which was verified and had 485 followers, frequently boosted other Identitarian accounts and their missions. They were suspended likely sometime in September, 2023. The account still had plenty of time to share hateful tweets. For example, it reposted the Danish Identitarian movement’s post about a protest calling to “send Islamists (i.e., Muslims) home.” Shortly before their suspension, GI Europe’s Twitter account criticized the platform for suspending the Identitarian groups Wackre Schwaben, Junge Tat, and SachsenGarde following the recent raids on Identitarians by the German government. In the same tweet, they explicitly asked their followers to donate directly to Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland (GI Germany).
Identity England, an account that describes itself as “campaigning for the Preservation of English and European Ethno-culture,” routinely makes posts directly referring to the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, uses the “#StopTheInvasion” hashtag, “#DefendEuropeꓥ” (the symbol next to the words being the Identitarian lambda), “#StopIslamisation,” Islamization being a phrase popular amongst Identitarians to ‘prove’ the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, and using the Nazi-era phrase “Fortress Europe,” which has now been appropriated by anti-immigration politicians as a political agenda, although in their tweets it is mistakenly spelled “Forress.”
Argos, an organization that seeks to be the heir to Génération Identitaire and has a verified account with more than 8,200 followers, had 12 of their members arrested while participating in an unauthorized rally in Cherbourg, France. Some of these members were “in possession of knives and batons” and are now released “under judicial supervision.” Similarly, Les Natifs, The Natives, which was founded by former members of Génération Identitaire after the group’s dissolution, has more than 8,800 followers on Twitter and are verified through X Premium.
Generation Identity Europe boosts a GI Denmark post, whose account is now suspended, about their racist demonstration, where they called to “send Islamists home.” (Source: Twitter)
En Racine, with about 1,200 followers, is a website dedicated to sharing “militant nationalist events planned across [France].” The Twitter account is run by “‘Clarisse Soleil.” While they do not formally associate with Identitarians, the website advertises a number of extreme groups, such as Civitas (dissolved by the French government October 2023), Collectif Nemesis, Des Tours et des Lys, Furie Française, Les Natifs, Argos, and several others. Consistent with the Identitarian’s “remigration” agenda, Soleil capitalized on the recent earthquake in Morocco to further spread her racist ideology. This tweet was seen almost 15,000 times in just over a day.
Instagram Letting Identitarians Slip In
While GPAHE focused on Twitter and YouTube accounts in the 2020 report, we found a noticeable Identitarian presence on Instagram in 2023 that is a cause for concern. Four accounts in GPAHE’s original report currently have an Instagram account: TV Libertés (19,600 followers), Alternative für Deutschland (153,000 followers), La Traboule (6,213 followers), and Johan Teissier (253 followers).
TV Libertés, which holds a relatively large platform on Instagram, has posted videos speaking about how migration leads to Islamization. The content also refers to “conspiracy by elites,” such as liberal philanthropist George Soros having a plan to facilitate the “invasion” and “Islamization” of Europe, replacement conspiracy theory illustrating its strong roots in antisemitism. Les Normeaux, an Identitarian network based in Rouen, France, regularly organizes and posts about their “activism,” such as setting up a banner saying “Park closed due to mass immigration” after a person with refugee status in Sweden stabbed two children in a park in Annecy. The video is accompanied by a caption that blames violence in the country on immigration. They are connected to other Identitarian influencers, including Thaïs D’Escufon.
Upon further examination of the platform in 2023, we found 19 more explicitly Identitarian Instagram accounts totalling more than 300,000 followers.
Wackre_schwaben, an Identitarian group based in the region of Swabia, Germany, has posted numerous times about their protests advocating for remigration. They do so by also claiming that the “population exchange” caused by migration leads to “imported violence.” Another post by the account shows an image of the previously-mentioned protest at Sindelfingen, Germany advertised by Sellner with group members posing with the “ok” hand gesture, one that has been co-opted by far-right and neo-Nazi movements, but most famously by the Christchurch mosque shooter.
A post by wackre_schwaben featuring members advocating for “remigration” and using the “ok” hand gesture, a handsign employed by far-right extremists (Source: Instagram)
Eisenfaust (2,135 followers) and Widerstand in Bewegung (2,548 followers) are Identitarian groups based out of Austria. They share much of the same content and often host “Remigration Demos” featuring prominent Identitarians like Martin Sellner, Silvio Hemmelmayr, Gernot Schmidt, and AfD politician Anna Leisten. In order to avoid content moderation, the accounts spell Sellner’s name (Sell**r) because they believe “the powerful is (sic) so uncomfortable that we have to censor it on Instagram.” In addition to advertising speeches on remigration, the accounts frequently post advertisements and footage of demonstrations in Austria advocating for remigration.
Facebook’s Political Problem
Facebook is no stranger to content related to the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory. The Christchurch shooter live streamed his attack on Facebook and the French #grandremplacement hashtag has been used in over 5,000 posts as of mid-2023. The existence of this worrisome trend on Facebook is unsurprising, considering groups tracked by GPAHE from 2020 currently have a cumulative following of more than 900,000 on their pages. The largest far-right extremist group tracked is AfD, with 572,000 followers, followed by TV Libertés with 360,000 followers.
Including newly-found pages, and the overwhelming network created by Junge Alternative, who carry more than 160,000 followers on their own, Identitarian groups and individuals tracked by GPAHE on Facebook have more than one million followers.
In another instance, Identitarian French politician Eric Zemmour, the president of French white nationalist party Reconquête! has made 27 posts with “remigration” or the #remigration hashtag, including instances where Facebook mistakenly translated “remigration” to “immigration,” giving a false reading of the content meaning. Zemmour was convicted for the third time of racist hate speech in January 2022, this time for a tirade against child migrants in which he called them “thieves,” “rapists,” and “murderers.” The conviction was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights in December 2022. Zemmour was convicted of anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech in September 2023 following comments he made targeting lesbian couples, saying that “[having] children without a father” is “a catastrophe.”
Zemmour posts a clip from far-right online news outlet Livre Noir showcasing his discussion on “remigration.” Facebook incorrectly translates the term “remigration” to “immigration,” which misleads English-speaking readers to believe the discussion is benign. (Source: Facebook)
Spreading “Great Replacement” content on Facebook is commonplace for Junge Alternative, who lean heavily into the Identitarian movement’s focus on “remigration” and extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric, which usually manifests in the use of the “Great Replacement”-related term “Islamization.” JA’s insistence on the “remigration” narrative aligns with the reasoning behind their classification as right-wing extremist by Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which states that JA follows a “völkisch (i.e., A Nazi-era movement adopted by Hitler, which explicitly excluded Jews, Romani, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and LGBTQ+ from the definition of “Volk,” or “German”) concept of society, which is based on basic biological assumptions, postulates a state people that is as ethnoculturally homogeneous as possible.” Facebook’s insistence on allowing political parties to post whatever they want, contrary to its published policies, is a facilitating tool for the undermining of democracy, radicalization, and the deaths that come as a result.
Other Identitarian groups on Facebook include “Les Normaux” (2,000 followers), Des Tours et des Lys (1,100 followers), and Lyon Populaire (1,200 followers).
The network of Junge Alternative accounts demonstrates their alignment with racist and anti-Muslim Identitarian talking points, such as “remigration,” “population exchange,” “Islamization,” and the use of the term “Fortress Europe” in advocating for a white, Christian Europe. The primary page for Junge Alternative, called Junge Alternative für Deutschland, has six posts talking about remigration, including a post that actively calls for more deportations. Junge Alternative Brandenburg has five posts on their Facebook page advertising their stance on “remigration.” For example, they posted about a racist rally they conducted alongside AfD in March 2023, saying they “don’t want criminal migrant clans in our German cities. We want security and demand #remigration.”
Junge Alternative Sachsen-Anhalt also has five posts on their Facebook page discussing “remigration.” One racist post by the group addresses their desire to stop “radicalizing Muslim groups [to] free roam” through “consistent Remigration.” Another post makes a call to “Close the borders! Remigration!” while attaching a picture of street art that says “white lives matter,” a slogan originating in the US and now popular with white supremacists globally. Junge Alternative Sachsen have so far made a staggering 50 posts either talking about “remigration” or using the #remigration hashtag. Posts echo white nationalist talking points, like “population exchange,” “Islamization and Arabization,” the “destruction of the traditional nation state” due to “mass immigration,” equating “multicultural” to “multi-criminal,” and references to “Fortress Europe,” which is based on a Nazi term for a German-dominated Europe.
Junge Alternative Sachsen invokes the Nazi term “Fortress Europe” when posting about their perceived “invasion” of the Mediterranean by asylum-seekers (Source: Facebook)
Junge Alternative Thüringen has three posts talking about “remigration,” with two being shared from other JA Facebook pages. Their own post mocks an Instagram post by “funk” translating common Muslim phrases, like Mashallah and Inshallah, to German. They added a “section” translating “remigration,” which they defined as “The desire to preserve the German language and culture.”
In total, there are 66 Junge Alternative groups on Facebook, 32 more than on Twitter: