The Associated Press Is Updating The Way They Refer To The 'Alt-Right'

The Associated Press Is Updating The Way They Refer To The 'Alt-Right'
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Updated 10 months ago

The term "alt-right" has steadily grown in popularity, especially since the 2016 presidential election, but the Associated Press (AP) would like that to change. The AP, one of the world's oldest news organizations dating back to 1846, supplies news reports to publications around the world. In the wake of the deadly protests in Charlottesville, they believe a change is necessary to keep reporting accurate. 

The AP urges journalists to avoid the term:

Vice President for Standards for the AP, John Daniszweski, relayed the concerns in a post on the AP's website, saying: "At AP, we have taken the position that the term 'alt-right' should be avoided because it is meant as a euphemism to disguise racist aims. So use it only when quoting someone or when describing what the movement says about itself."

The post continues: "When writing on extreme groups, be precise and provide evidence to support the characterization. Report their actions, associations, history and positions to reveal their actual beliefs and philosophy, as well as how others see them." Daniszweski also urges journalists and citizens alike to be especially discerning when it comes to the difference between terms like "racism," "white nationalism," "white supremacy," "white separatism," and "neo-Nazism." 

There's nothing "alternative" or euphemistic about a swastika:

Not everyone wants to nix the term, however. Talking to Indy100, Dr. Joe Mulhall, a Senior Researcher at Hope Not Hate said: 

In the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville it is completely understandable that AP have taken the decision to avoid the term alt-right and they are right that some seek to use it as a euphemism to sanitize their image. However, like the lively historiographical debates around the use of the term fascism that date back decades, I would argue that it is best to ensure the accurate use of the term, rather than discard it all together. While a very broad term, the alt-right does exist, and though there are large areas of cross over with traditional far-right movements it does have differences, especially around its culture and means of operation. 

Mulhall continued:

In short, if someone is a Nazi, then they should be called a Nazi. If someone is from the KKK then call them a Klansman. But if someone is alt-right, then call them alt-right. If the concern is that the term is deemed less dangerous or extreme than the others then it is the job of researchers, scholars and campaigners to make people realize that isn’t the case.

To clarify, this is how Hope Not Hate defines the "alternative right":

Broadly speaking, the International Alternative Right is an international set of groups and individuals, organized primarily online, though with offline outlets, whose core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack from pro-multicultural and liberal elites and so-called ‘social justice warriors’ (SJW) who use ‘political correctness’ to undermine Western civilization and the rights of white males. 
The International Alternative Right is best understood as a conglomeration of a number of preexisting social and far-right movements and political trends that, together, when combined with a specific form of hostile online antagonistic behavior, make up what has come to be known as the alt-right. 

Twitter debated the merits of the AP's change:

Perhaps a new term could be used in its place: