I’m Melissa, the author of Ctrl Alt Right Delete, a weekly newsletter devoted to understanding how the so-called alt-right operates online. I spend my days studying how trolls are ruining the Internet, especially when it comes to politics.
I’ve been involved in politics for over a decade, and it all started with reading blogs like Crooks and Liars to get informed. Just over a year ago I set out to learn everything I could about the so-called alt-right and how the digital and media landscape was changing. My long history with the netroots and organizing online communities for Democrats helped me understand how they were organizing on the other side and why it was working.
After the election, that interest became an obsession. I dove headfirst into a world of cartoon frogs, internet nazis, and dank memes. Along the way, I learned about bots, active measures, and conspiracy theories. I’ve done my best to chronicle everything in Ctrl Alt Right Delete, which quickly grew from a couple hundred friends and colleagues to a reach of nearly 4,000 readers.
I’m proud to announce the next evolution of my work: Factual Democracy Project, a home for my newsletter and expanded digital content. My first project under this new organization: a speaker series of hour long calls featuring experts in tech, media, civil society, and national security. To fund this effort, I’m launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
Starting in September of 2017, I'll produce a series of 6 conference calls -- three for the public, and three exclusively for founding backers. The calls will run twice a month and last for one hour. They’ll cover topics aimed at helping you better understand the current political climate: how we got here, what we’re facing, and what we can do about it.
The content of the three public calls will be free and widely available. They'll be open to public and the press. And I’ll put recordings and summaries of each call up on Factual Democracy Project’s website so that members can access them. My goal for these calls is to curate the wealth of knowledge that exists, and make it as easy as possible for you to consume.
But to get started I need your help. I’ve launched a Kickstarter to fund our first series of calls. Can I count on you to back Factual Democracy Project today?
Here are three things you can do to support this campaign right now:
- Share the Kickstarter with your personal networks on Facebook
- Share on Twitter by retweeting the announcement, retweeting Digby, or just tweeting out the link.
- Have your organization or company become a sponsor.
The Factual Democracy Project is an emerging organization. This series of calls is the first step towards creating a space for more cross conversations and convenings. I’ve structured the rewards largely as memberships. Founding members will play a crucial role in making this series of calls happen, but your membership is annual. Founding Members will help shape Factual Democracy Project, and I’ll be soliciting your feedback every step of the way. The idea for this series came from a survey of Ctrl Alt Right Delete readers. I’m excited to bring it to life, but I can only do that with your support.
I’m so excited to launch and share this with you. But I can’t make this work without your backing. If you have any questions or want to be involved, don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks in advance for your help and enthusiasm.
Editor's Note: I was on the first call Melissa held and it was fascinating, informative and extremely helpful in thinking about ways to cover the alt-right going forward. The ones she's planning should be even more helpful.