A week ago, James Damore was anonymous. Now, the Google engineer who lost his job after he wrote a viral antidiversity screed has become an icon of the alt-right, with more than 40,000 Twitter followers (literally overnight) and a dedicated online constituency.
This didn’t happen by accident: Damore’s swift lionization as a casualty of both unchecked social justice warring and an unregulated Big Tech monopoly that silences dissenting voices is the work of a well-oiled pro-Trump media machine, one that’s able to instantly bring its brand of digital insurgency to any skirmish. And in the case of Google, and Silicon Valley as a whole, the new right is digging in for a long, hard fight, with Damore at the center.
According to multiple self-proclaimed leaders of the new right, the Damore fiasco isn’t just this week’s latest outrage, but a tentpole moment in the larger online culture wars.
Silicon Valley offers a perfect target. For years, anti–social justice trolls and right-wing media personalities have railed against the tech industry for censoring their viewpoints and blocking them from services. And in recent months, the battle has intensified. BuzzFeed News reported recently that online payments and crowdfunding companies have “banned or hobbled the accounts of several prominent people and groups that promote far-right politics.” Last week, YouTube announced it would put extremist content “behind an interstitial warning” that…