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'Alt-Right' Trolls Weaponized Irony to Spread Fascism

By jazz_music following x   2018 Feb 9, 12:30pm 4,374 views   208 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


This is the new ugliness.

[May 23, 2017] Earlier this month, hundreds of so-called alt-right protesters occupied the rotunda at Boston Common in the name of free speech. The protest included far-right grouplets old and new, from the Oath Keepers to the Proud Boys. But there were no swastikas or shaved heads in sight.

Instead, the protest imagery was dominated by ostensibly comedic images, mostly cribbed from forums and social media. It looked a little like an animated version of a favorite “alt-right” message board, 4chan.

At least one attendee was dressed as the cartoon frog Pepe (a character co-opted by the movement against the wishes of its creator). Others carried the flag of “Kekistan," the imaginary country created by 4chan members. Kyle Chapman, the man who became the “based stick man” meme after attacking anti-fascists armed with a gas mask and a Captain America shield, also addressed the crowd. The same crowd later confronted a counter anti-fascist protest in the street.

Until recently, it would have been hard to imagine the combination of street violence meeting internet memes. But experts say that the “alt-right” have stormed mainstream consciousness by weaponizing irony, and by using humour and ambiguity as tactics to wrong-foot their opponents.

Last week, the Data & Society Institute released a report on the online disinformation and manipulation that is increasingly shaping US politics. The report focused on the way in which far-right actors “spread white supremacist thought, Islamophobia, and misogyny through irony and knowledge of internet culture”.

One the report’s authors, Dr Alice Marwick, says that fascist tropes first merged with irony in the murkier corners of the internet before being adopted by the “alt-right” as a tool. For the new far-right movement, “IRONY HAS A STRATEGIC FUNCTION. IT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO DISCLAIM A REAL COMMITMENT TO FAR-RIGHT IDEAS WHILE STILL ESPOUSING THEM.”

Marwick says that from the early 2000s, on message boards like 4chan, calculatedly offensive language and imagery have been used to “provoke strong reactions in outsiders”. Calling all users “fags”, or creating memes using gross racial stereotypes, “serves a gate-keeping function, in that it keeps people out of these spaces, many of which are very easy to access”.

Violating the standards of political correctness and the rules of polite interactions “also functions as an act of rebellion” in spaces drenched in adolescent masculinity.

This was played up by Milo Yiannopoulos in an infamous Breitbart explainer last year, in which he insisted that the “alt-right” movement’s circulation of antisemitic imagery was really nothing more than transgressive fun.

“Are they actually bigots?” Yiannopoulos asked rhetorically. “No more than death metal devotees in the 1980s were actually satanists. For them, it’s simply a means to fluster their grandparents.”

What Yiannopoulos left out, according to Marwick, is that these spaces increasingly became attractive to sincere white supremacists. They offered them venues for recruitment, and new methods for popularising their ideas.

In other words, TROLL CULTURE BECAME A WAY FOR FASCISM TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT.

Marwick points to another guide to the “alt-right”, published last on Andrew Anglin’s prominent Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, which credited “troll culture” with bringing about “non-ironic Nazism masquerading as ironic Nazism”: It also allows individuals to push boundaries in public, and to back away when they meet resistance. When Richard Spencer led a fascist salute to Donald Trump at his National Policy Insitute conference in the wake of Trump’s win, he said it was done in “a spirit of irony and exuberance”.


A compounding difficulty for opponents of the “alt-right” is that online, it’s always been difficult to tell the difference between sincerity and satire.

Ryan Milner teaches Communication at the College of Charleston, and is the co-author of a new book called The Ambivalent Internet. The book ponders the implications of Poe’s law, an internet adage that points to the difficulties of online communication and of distinguishing extremist views from parodies.

“Unless you have an obvious marker of another person’s intent, you can’t really gauge their intent. They could be messing around. They could be deadly serious. They could be a mix of both,” Milner says.

But ironic, playful content can have effects in real life. Milner offers the example of Edgar Welch, who turned up at Comet Ping Pong Pizza in Washington DC with a gun after imbibing too deeply of the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy theory. The theory was ginned up by forum trolls and amplified by fringe rightwing media. It asserted, on the basis of some of John Podesta’s leaked emails, that the restaurant was the hub of an elite pedophile ring.

Last December, Welch drove to Washington from North Carolina with three firearms. When he arrived, he texted a friend: “Raiding a pedo ring, possible sacrificing the lives of a few for the lives of many.” He fired shots inside the restaurant, but fortunately was arrested without harming anyone.

“A lot of the people propagating the Pizzagate conspiracy were doing it winkingly. But in the moment that somebody walked into that shop with a gun, then that playful buzzing participation around that conspiracy turned into real consequences,” Milner says.

More generally, every “ironic” repetition of far-right ideals contributes to a climate in which racism, misogyny, or Islamophobia is normalised.

“Every time you see a viral video of somebody shouting down a person of Muslim descent in a supermarket line, what you’re seeing are the effects of an environment where it’s increasingly normal, increasingly accepted and expected to speak in this register, whether or not that started out as a joke,” Milner says.

Author Alexander Reid Ross agrees that irony has been deployed by the far right in chipping away at whatever prohibitions have existed around publicly adopting far-right politics. His book, Against the Fascist Creep, published late last year, explores the long history of fascists attempting to mainstream their ideas, or even sell them to the left.

“Fascism is more or less a social taboo. It’s unacceptable in modern society,” Ross says. “Humour or irony is one of the ways that they can put forward their affective positions without having to fall back on any affirmative ideological positions.”

He adds: “They’re putting forward the anger, the sense of betrayal, the need for revenge, the resentment, the violence. They’re putting forward the male fantasies, the desire for a national community and a sense of unity and a rejection of Muslims. They’re doing all of that, but they’re not stating it.”

The best response is to stubbornly take the “alt-right” at their word. Angela Nagle’s book about the “alt-right”, Kill All Normies, will be released next month. She says that for the “alt-right”, online irony “is a mechanism for undermining the confidence of their critics”.

“The thing that people have to realize is that it isn’t that complicated. We know what they believe in, and if you say that you’re ‘alt-right’, presumably you believe in those things too.”

Rather than getting lost in the weeds of a fast-moving internet culture, we should be bearing down hard on those core beliefs.

“Journalists should be saying, ‘I don’t want to talk about Pepe memes and hand signs. Tell me what are the limits of what you’re prepared to do’. We should force them to talk about what they really stand for,” Nagle says.

In future, the best step may be to meet irony with sincerity.

https://twitter.com/JackSmithIV/status/863413631261736960
https://twitter.com/andrewmcgill/status/800823669500936192
https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/alt-right-covert-fascism

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66   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 11, 5:01pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

jazz_music says
I am retired but it saddens me deeply to see the country that we have left for our working population to deal with.

The working poor are doing fine. It's the non working poor who don't want to work are sucking the blood from the working class.

jazz_music says
We have lost so much, while corporations have gained gained and gained some more and all the time tricking us to hate the poor and the immigrants as if it were them that caused our misery.

If the corporations gain, we gain in jobs and taxes and 401K's.

jazz_music says
We have an EXTREMELY OBVIOUS and oppressive propaganda industry keeping us divided in hate, fear, jealousy, bigotry, greed, resentment, rage, all those low class passions that keep us from using the intelligence that we all possess.

It's the socialists with all their propaganda nonsense who are keeping us divided. Those who buy into their propaganda have no intelligence.
67   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 11, 5:09pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

jazz_music says
How can we break the corruption of the Supreme court?


"We" as in commies and socialists? The losers and the lazy? The criminals and the bums?
68   Quigley   ignore (0)   2018 Feb 11, 5:12pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

jazz_music says
So you imply there that the Supreme court has corrupted the system!

Like they did giving corporations greater rights than people.


Yes, the corporations are people verdict for purpose of political campaign contribution. I was pretty against this as well, and considered it a major flaw in, if not the Constitution, at least that particular panel of judges’ interpretation of it!

Then 2016 election happened. Hillary and her bots, financed by all the biggest corporations, outspent her opponent 2:1, setting a record for money spent during a presidential campaign.
And lost.

If, despite the money spent on propaganda, despite meddling by the intelligence agencies, despite widespread media bias, and despite a hostile government, Trump was elected, then the will of the people is not a force to be simply bought. This means that money spent on campaigns has a limited effect, not an unlimited effect as once as once thought.
71   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 11, 10:03pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

jazz_music says
Onvacation says
people's representatives grow filthy rich by going against the interests of their constituents.

YES! But all that is done constitutionally.

So you imply there that the Supreme court has corrupted the system!

Like they did giving corporations greater rights than people.

Like they did allowing unlimited anonymous money to influence voters.

Like they did on monopolies saying that as long as you can show efficiency monopolies/duopolies are okay.

The duopoly has proven to be just as damaging to the public as monopolies and yet their structure affords additional legal cover.

How can we break the corruption of the Supreme court?


Ask the cucks to list their Great List of Trump Accomplishments and I’ll go all in that every last one of them put appointing Gorsuck as not just some sort of an accomplishment in order to put anything on the list, well save for THE BEST BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT LEVEL EVER! Even though UnEmployment used to be a FakeNews metric, and instead would show a chart of declining Labor Participation rate...No! Gorsuck is one of his Greatest Accomplishments! L O L

Here’s why I know with certainty that it’s all the product of Propaganda. Because “they” are all rallying together AS Republicans!

You can’t support Trump without supporting the Republicans.

It’s the reason why they’re trained to be all
“The Liberals ruined Everything!”
And my favourite: “ MUH Hillary CLINNNTTTOONN!!! 24/7/365 For Life
Insert pepe meme
#MAGA

If you had your eye on the ball you would know

Liberals ruined everything
Obama is a seditious traitor!
Hillary Clinton is a criminal the likes of which this world has ever seem. She’s literally more criminally insane and has harmed society more than Jon Corzine and Charles Kushner combined.

Heritage Foundation wrote the Affordable Care Act that we now know as ObamaCare. It was the worst thing ever it almost caused the sun to burn out. Republicans in congress agree to a man. They went on and on and on about how terrible ObamaCare was since 2009! Almost ten years of hot air about lol. Why haven’t they done ANYTHING about it now in over a year of ABSOLUTE control of every arm of the Government?

They were busy doing something more important like PERMANENT TAX CUTS for the wealthiest and $30 a week less in federal withholding taxes on your paycheck lol. Talk about The Art of The Deal. The New Shitty Deal. Double the Welfare deductions for children. Muh Hillary for the children! Those Virtu Signalling little Cucks!

To support Republicans in 2018 in this country is something that can obviously be bought on the cheap.

But hey, The Republicans support our military and the Vets! Moar money for the military bigly. Yuge coincidence that The Federal Debt is getting abused like a cum sock and nary a peep, so long as it is the result of tax cuts for the wealthy and military spending. The Vets! They need a big fucking Trump parade. They don’t need their federal government to reschedule Cannabis so that they can have their medicine without fear of imprisonment as reward for serving their country, returning home with PTSD or an opioid addiction, and finding a cheap, easy, non Big PHrma you don’t need a permission slip from you doc to get your rx solution in Cannabis. The multi billion dollar industry that already employs more people than the dental industry while operating in the shadows, incapable of utilizing their nations banks! Fuck those Vets! The private prisons need heads for beds and that sweet .50 an hour labor. The LEO need their quotas snd fun money. The lawyers snd judges, courts, clerks, probation officers and the companies that sell phone time to prisoners need that money. They cannot be sacrificed in the name of Liberty, not even for the Vets!

Capitalism is the only way, and like any Capitalist knows, it’s the government job to dictate when a nation must prohibit Hemp production for CBD, and Cannabis for medicine. Only prescription drugs approved by the government can be purchased from a corporation, if you get a permission slip from the doctor. Because personal responsibility is very important!

Money and debt and the pricing mechanism for the two is integral to Capitalism, which is why so many people must be bankrupted each year by medical bills. But, school loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

There’s this simplistic notion that The right is comprised of millions of unique individuals who just so happened to unite together as Republicans. It has nothing to do with racism for any of them. They have a bunch of really good ideas but Antifa dweebs with sticks are taking away their right to Free Speech, so they rally around the Nazis in Charlottesville who literally ran their car into a crowd of people, killing a local resident. Hell, trump could shoot a baby on 5th avenue, and their support wouldn’t budge. They are good Christians. Trump is going to repeal Roe vs Wade and keep the Trannys who we think about a lot out of our bathrooms. Oh public bathroom like wtf uses public bathrooms anymore to get concerned over the rules about who can use them lol. The 2016 primaries proved without a doubt that at least within the corrupt cess pool that comprises the Democrats party, there’s a large segment of people still willing to Make America Great. Had it not been for The Oligarchs media shafting Bernies run against Hillary, he would have been elected to represent The Left or whatever you want to call people who still care about our country. Many of us actually DID MEAN IT WHEN WE SAID THAT WE WERE ALL THE WAY AGAINST HILLARY. We said we would vote for Trump before we voted for Hillary. The Media knows that there’s no such thing as Bad publicity.
So they gave Bernie the shaft
Meanwhile in lala land, the Republicans Marketing team was carrying out a Shit Test
Rubio
Jeb
Ted fucking Cruz
Dr Ben Carson who frequently recieved DD % of the vote
And Trump
Kasich?
A few other low lifes and scumbags.

In a televised Royal Rumble to see who the sheeple that watch Entertainment News on their television and actually confuse it as news rather than the programming tripe that it is. Be well informed! And Trump sat there flinging feces like a monkey in jail and it was glorious! He put an end to years of the same old hat you usually hear from the Republicans. Guns! Abortions! God!! The brown skinned invaders! And to no big surprise the people went for the Shittiest Turd flinger. It really was enjoyable. Hillary squeeking past Bernie thanks to the media and the mega-corprate-donors vs. Bernie being funded by literally regular Americans from the Labor class.

MAGA GOOGOO GAGA!!
72   BlueSardine   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 6:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

hehehe
errc says
It was the worst thing ever it almost caused the sun to burn out.
73   Onvacation   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 12, 7:48am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

errc says
You can’t support Trump without supporting the Republicans.

Trump beat Hillary because a reality show freak was better than a corrupt old evil witch.
74   Onvacation   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 12, 7:49am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

errc says
Obama is a seditious traitor!
Hillary Clinton is a criminal the likes of which this world has ever seem.

Agreed!
76   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 8:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

errc says
You can’t support Trump without supporting the Republicans.


Why not, Trump isn't a republican.

errc says
Liberals ruined everything
Obama is a seditious traitor!
Hillary Clinton is a criminal the likes of which this world has ever seem. She’s literally more criminally insane and has harmed society more than Jon Corzine and Charles Kushner combined.


That part is true.

errc says
Heritage Foundation wrote the Affordable Care Act that we now know as ObamaCare.


and it was just the Democrats that voted for it, go figure.

errc says
and $30 a week less in federal withholding taxes on your paycheck lol.


The average individual income in the US is like $600 a week. What percentage of that income is that $30 increase weekly?

errc says
The Federal Debt is getting abused like a cum sock and nary a peep,


Where was the "peeps" when Obama added $10 TRILLION to the debt in 8 years?

errc says
Capitalism is the only way,


True

errc says
and like any Capitalist knows, it’s the government job to dictate


No, that would be Socialism, aka, Bernie-ism.

errc says
Hillary squeeking past Bernie thanks to the media and the mega-corprate-donors


Isn't the liberal media wonderful!
77   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 8:41am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

anon_def08 says
Why not, Trump isn't a republican.


Of course he is. He ran under the Republican party ticket. He's a Republican.
78   mell   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 8:51am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

You have to separate your emotions from logic and look who is actually breaking the law here. Trump may be a brash blowhard at times but the law was broken by top Dems in multiple ways showing they are the real dictators with no respect for the rule of law. Kekekek!
79   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 8:52am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

mell says
You have to separate your emotions from logic and look who is actually breaking the law here. Trump may be a brash blowhard at times but the law was broken by top Dems in multiple ways showing they are the real dictators with no respect for the rule of law. Kekekek!


Details? Which Dems? Which laws?
80   FortWayne   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 8:54am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

Independent run under Republican because it’s open primaries and very democratic.

Dem party is a sham with superdelegates.

anon_8f378 says
anon_def08 says
Why not, Trump isn't a republican.


Of course he is. He ran under the Republican party ticket. He's a Republican.
81   mell   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 8:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

anon_8f378 says
mell says
You have to separate your emotions from logic and look who is actually breaking the law here. Trump may be a brash blowhard at times but the law was broken by top Dems in multiple ways showing they are the real dictators with no respect for the rule of law. Kekekek!


Details? Which Dems? Which laws?


Fisa memo was clear. Easily similar level as Watergate.
84   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 8:59am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

mell says
anon_8f378 says
mell says
You have to separate your emotions from logic and look who is actually breaking the law here. Trump may be a brash blowhard at times but the law was broken by top Dems in multiple ways showing they are the real dictators with no respect for the rule of law. Kekekek!


Details? Which Dems? Which laws?


Fisa memo was clear. Easily similar level as Watergate.


What is the timeline of the Republican controlled government to do their job and bring these seditious Democrats to justice?
86   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 9:01am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

mell says
Fisa memo was clear. Easily similar level as Watergate.


FISA memo was partisan nonsense. Which laws were broken?
87   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 9:01am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

FortWayne says
Independent run under Republican because it’s open primaries and very democratic.


lol. OK. What has Trump done that is not Republican business as usual?

Tax break for the wealthy? check
Deregulation? check
Promote business interests over labor? check
Increase military spending? check
Reduce domestic spending? (going to be) check
88   mell   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 9:02am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

errc says
mell says
anon_8f378 says
mell says
You have to separate your emotions from logic and look who is actually breaking the law here. Trump may be a brash blowhard at times but the law was broken by top Dems in multiple ways showing they are the real dictators with no respect for the rule of law. Kekekek!


Details? Which Dems? Which laws?


Fisa memo was clear. Easily similar level as Watergate.


What is the timeline of the Republican controlled government to do their job and bring these seditious Democrats to justice?


Not holding my breath since it's still two wings of the same bird. They do not like to go after each other.

#corruption
89   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 9:02am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

mell says
Tenpoundbass says


Great one.


Segregation wasn’t racist!

Democrats are Ray cyst!!
92   HeadSet   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 2:20pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Segregation wasn’t racist!

Democrats are Ray cyst!!


You do realize the segregationists were Democrats?
93   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 4:19pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Tenpoundbass says


Bleeding heart liberals: Making little terrorists dreams come true.
94   FortWayne   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 5:56pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (3)   quote        

He lowered taxes for everyone, created jobs, lowered spending. Man is downright American.

anon_8f378 says
FortWayne says
Independent run under Republican because it’s open primaries and very democratic.


lol. OK. What has Trump done that is not Republican business as usual?

Tax break for the wealthy? check
Deregulation? check
Promote business interests over labor? check
Increase military spending? check
Reduce domestic spending? (going to be) check
95   CBOEtrader   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 12, 6:05pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

errc says
Segregation wasn’t racist!

Democrats are Ray cyst!!


Democrats are the ones arguing for segregation and systemic racism. The DNC are the Nazi's of today
96   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 12, 6:23pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

What was the subject?

A tantrum over the OP?
97   TwoScoopsOfDragonEnergy   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 7:11pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

TwoScoopsPlissken says


By the way, this guy is in an open relationship.

Any takers on who is getting more action on the "open" side?

Hahahahahahahaha
98   Sniper   ignore (11)   2018 Feb 12, 7:20pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Tenpoundbass says


Where does a little punk like that get the cash for that nice of a play toy?

He must have a great allowance?
99   anonymous   ignore (null)   2018 Feb 12, 7:23pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

anon_8f378 says
anon_def08 says
Why not, Trump isn't a republican.


Of course he is. He ran under the Republican party ticket. He's a Republican.


Nope, there's only two major parties in this country, the Dems already had their "chosen one", his only option was to run on the Repub ticket.
100   TwoScoopsOfDragonEnergy   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 7:24pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Sniper says
Where does a little punk like that get the cash for that nice of a play toy?


The PA spends $350M per year on handouts to families of terrorists. Almost all of that is foreign aid and money from the Cesspit that is the UN.
101   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 Feb 12, 7:28pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

jazz_music says
What was the subject?

A tantrum over the OP?


Subject: We are under occupation and enslaved by Capitalists, Oligarchs, armed forces, and law enforcement. We must revolt now.

Sorry Jazz, too many people here are on the other side.
102   Sniper   ignore (11)   2018 Feb 12, 7:36pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

TwoScoopsPlissken says
Sniper says
Where does a little punk like that get the cash for that nice of a play toy?


The PA spends $350M per year on handouts to families of terrorists. Almost all of that is foreign aid and money from the Cesspit that is the UN.


Nice, how do I get me some of that for a new play toy?
103   jazz_music   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 13, 1:05am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

Strategist says
jazz_music says
What was the subject?

A tantrum over the OP?


Subject: We are under occupation and enslaved by Capitalists, Oligarchs, armed forces, and law enforcement. We must revolt now.

Sorry Jazz, too many people here are on the other side.

Dear badge guy, not too many people are on the other side. You may be revolting, and you may be sorry, but most of us are interested in good changes for good reasons, now instead of exploring that, the thread is bombed with racist and divisive emotional hysteria by a very few disruptive persons.

In fact, your comment is disingenuous insincere and deliberately inaccurate. If I put you back on ignore along with those I referred, you will not be able to see or comment right?
105   Onvacation   ignore (2)   2018 Feb 13, 7:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Sniper says


Nice, how do I get me some of that for a new play toy?

What kind of gun is that?
Looks like it has a muzzle break off a 50 cal but the magazine is too small. I think it might be a plastic toy. Any experts out there?

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