On July 14, 2013, a white supremacist named Andrew Anglin, bewildered by black Americans’ outrage over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, began typing out thoughts on what he saw as a distorted world.
“The whole George Zimmerman media psycho-drama has been completely insane from the beginning,” Anglin wrote on the Daily Stormer, the neo-Nazi website he had started, after a jury acquitted Zimmerman in the shooting death of Martin the year before. Anglin called Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old, a “crazed, savage attacker” and warned of a conspiracy by “blacks and the Jewish media” to cast the justice system as biased against blacks.
Born amid a backlash against the post-Trayvon Martin movement drawing attention to racial bias, the site has exploded to prominence among white supremacists as #BlackLivesMatter protests stretched coast to coast. According to the website traffic tracking site SimilarWeb, by the end of 2013 Daily Stormer had more visitors than the rival Vanguard News Network, which has been around since 2003.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said in a March report that during the previous six months Daily Stormer’s Web traffic on some days even surpassed that of Stormfront.org, the oldest and largest hate site.
Anglin, in an interview Tuesday with The Times, attributed his website’s popularity to his approach, which avoids long, online essays in favor of short, catchy posts.
“I wanted something punchy and funny and enjoyable to read,” Anglin said. “My ideology is very simple. I believe white people deserve their own country…. There’s not really anything that can happen that can affect my ideology because it’s so simple and straightforward.”