Parsing the #whitegenocide hashtag

Last night, after watching Tucker Carlson, the President tweeted about farm seizures and the “large scale killing of farmers” in South Africa.

“I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews”

The plight of white South African farmers is a recurring talking point on Carlson’s show. As a common recruiting tool for white nationalists, the “white genocide” myth – regardless of location — elicits a surge of responses on social media.

This morning I scrapped out 2627 tweets from an eleven hour period for the #whitegenocide hashtag.

Graphic representation of #whitegenocide

The left cluster is comprised of an interconnected group of tweets and retweets sparked by a white nationalist. The original post compares a lack of interest in intervening for the Yazidi  with the current plight of white South Africans. In this instance, the hashtag further promotes the myth of white genocide.

The middle cluster is a collection of replies and quoted retweets of Trump’s original tweet. They include a wide variety of comments all including the #whitegenocide hashtag.

The right cluster represents a tweet thread from Pieter Howes breaking down the analysis done by Africa Check  on the murder rate in South Africa. The hashtag in this cluster applies to deconstructing the myth of white genocide.

As a first look, I find it interesting to note some commonality between the left and the center groupings even though they remain distinct clusters based on interactions. I’m curious to see if any specific patterns emerge regarding how the hashtag is used and what similarities may exist among those users.

Further reading on South African farm murders:

International outrage about a “genocide” against white farmers in South Africa ignores the data

Murders of farmers in South Africa at 20-year low, research shows