Somewhere far away from here
was a great country named Kekistan. It was peaceful, and beautiful. There was no racism, no sexism,
or any form of oppression whatsoever. Until one day, Normistan
launched an attack. The Normis invaded the country. Hundreds of Kekistani
have fled the country since. It was a culture war. The battlefield was the internet,
and the price: Freedom of speech. Normis are in the mainstream,
who know nothing about gamer culture. Who are clueless about the internet. There’s a new resistance movement.
What are they fighting for? This isBacklight. Welcome to the frontline
of the online culture war. BACKLIGHT TROLLS, TRUMP, AND THIERRY They call themselves Kekistani. They claim to be an oppressed nation
in the fictive country of Kekistan. This is where trolls, shitposters
and online jokers… …create their own culture and religion. With their own God,
a prophet called Pepe the Frog… …a national anthem, a president,
and a flag. The flag appeared all over the US
in pro-Trump protests… …and freedom of speech rallies. Kekistan causes a lot of confusion. Some people associate the fictive land
with far-right and alt-right. What is Kekistan exactly? Is it really far-right? Why did hundreds of thousands
associate themselves with Kekistan? To understand the meaning of this
fictive land we met one of the founders. Making provocative jokes
to fight for freedom of speech. Kekistan isn’t the first online meme… …to create confusion
by using far-right symbolism. Take Pepe the Frog: A cartoon frog. Perhaps the oldest
and most famous online meme. What’s a meme? Simply put,
it’s on online joke that goes viral. Pepe became political… …when Trump tweeted
a picture of himself as Pepe. Thierry Baudet also flirted with the frog. At that point, the frog
wasn’t so innocent anymore. More and more racist and hating
Pepes emerged online. Pepe was officially
declared a hate symbol… …like the swastika and
the Ku Klux Klan logo. Hilary Clinton declared the meme
a hate symbol linked to alt-right. Pepe is an example
of popular internet culture… …that has been labelled far-fight,
justifiably or not. The battle of the Kekistani
takes place nearly entirely online. Occasionally, you’ll see them in real life. Like during this
freedom of speech rally. Here, the Kekistani and other
internet trolls came together. Tim Pol is an independent journalist. He reports on the online culture war
on YouTube. He’s the perfect person
to take us into a world… …that stays mostly hidden
from mainstream media. Is freedom of speech in jeopardy? The question leads us to 4chan: An online platform
with over four million visitors a day. They say 4chan is one
of the dark corners of the internet. A place where neo-Nazis meet. Others say this is where
you can say anything you like. Terence calls himself Kekistani
and spends a lot of time on 4chan. This is 4chan?
– Yes, an online forum/image board… …where people can share personal
stories, photos and pictures. I guess you want to see
the most offensive stuff. Let’s see what nonsense
we come across today. Do you see yourself as Kekistani?
– Yes, I am. Why is that? Kekistani are an oppressed group
who deserve their own country. They deserve to be set free… …from conservatives, lefties,
communists and feminists. We want to get rid of them
and have our own Kekistan. Why do you want to get rid of them? They’re Normis
who are trying to corrupt us… …with their ‘right and wrong’ thinking. What are Normis? Normis are in the mainstream,
who know nothing about gamer culture… …who are basically clueless
when it comes to internet. People who see everything
on Facebook for the first time. We have a few boards
that are quite popular. One is Politically Incorrect. That’s where the neo-Nazis hang out. There’s Random, or Be. I shouldn’t talk about that, because I’m
breaking the first two rules of internet: Do not talk about Be,
and Do not talk about Be. One of the characteristics of Be
is that there are no rules. That makes it a hub
for freedom of speech. You see all sorts of vulgarity, trolls,
people making fun of each other… …hard-core porn, all kinds of sick shit
you can find on internet. What’s the attraction of Be or Random?
– That anything goes. If you say something
on Facebook that’s not cool… …you’re banned,
your comments are removed. On Be there’s only one rule: The moderators don’t apply any rules
other than what they feel they should do. Can you show me some more things
that are posted there? Are you sure? OK. We’ll go to the catalogue
and find something shocking. Someone opens a post here
with the question: Be, why are black people acting entitled
when slavery ended a long time ago? In other words,
a lot of black Americans feel… …white America should pay damages
for the slavery in the past… …even though it was long ago. That’s the discussion
that’s opened here. The way 4chan works is
you post a comment… …or reply to each other’s comments. Someone responds straight away
with ‘Kek’. There’s that expression again.
‘LOL, but for the Kekistani.’ What else can we see? An image. This is not nice. It’s ugly. So you don’t think it’s OK either?
– No, I don’t personally. Do you think it’s going too far? I don’t think it shouldn’t be allowed
to be posted. It’s up to that person. It’s their responsibility. We don’t know if they’re as racist
as they appear to be… …because it’s irony upon irony,
and then you don’t know anymore. But there are no other platforms
where you can discuss these topics… …and express yourself in a crude way. Memes that serve as a way
to break taboos. Charlotte, Jesper and Samuel… …are members of Facebook group
Lavender Children. They post memes about, among others,
Thierry Baudet. Do you want to make
it a Lavender meme? I want to make it political.
– Something with Kees Verhoeven? Something against the
Intelligence and Security law. Easy peasy. Here is Kees. And the meme was born. They often say that Lefties
or Linky-Winkies… …are bad at making memes. I think that’s because the right wing
have more to joke about. Because they’re not easily offended.
– And there are less taboos. Can’t you paste his head on there?
– We should leave the text out. Do your memes have a political goal? I think they’re more like a symptom. It’s just a bit of entertainment
among like-minded people. That’s the main reason why people
set up pages and share stuff. It’s entertainment.
– It’s a fun echo chamber. Birds of a feather.
– Creating this type of language… …is a small way of rebel
against the establishment… …that has become
a big group of Normis. Kekistan is a revolt
against identity politics. Against categorizing people by gender,
race, religion, or other traits. Fans come from far and wide
to attend Jordan Peterson’s talk. Peterson is Professor
of Clinical Psychology. A conservative thinker, he speaks out
against identity politics… …which he believes demonizes
the white male… …and compromises masculinity. Who have you come to see?
– Jordan Peterson. I got to know him about six months ago. He talks a lot about masculinity.
– Yes, that’s definitely under attack. Can you tell me a bit more about that? Boys aren’t allowed to be boys anymore.
It starts when we’re kids. Boys are punished for their masculinity. I’ve come to see Jordan Peterson.
– Why? I find him very inspiring. I listen to him on YouTube every day. He often brings up the evolution theory,
and the way we’ve evolved. And how men are positioned in society. What their most natural position is. I have the great honour to introduce
our number one speaker tonight. Someone many of you
have come to Rijswijk for. He’s a hero because he’s not afraid… …to challenge political correctness. This ‘Rockstar of Canadian academics’:
Professor Jordan Peterson. His attack on identity politics made
Peterson an online phenomenon. In no time, he got more
than a million YouTube followers. His latest book12 Rules for Life
is at the top of best-seller lists. What makes his message
so successful? Irish author Angela Nagle spent years
on online forum 4chan… …to study the origin of this
subculture and the online culture war. Here, she saw
the counter-culture at work. Against the left-wing dominance
in politics, society and culture. How do you rebel
against the cultural left? An increasing group of young people
don’t feel understood… …by the mainstream media. They even feel oppressed
and are trying to break free from it. Jeffrey Rossen calls himself
a ‘bully vlogger’. By sharing his undiluted opinions
on YouTube and Twitter… …he protests against mainstream media. Here we go again. The national broadcasting service
I fund with tax money… …is promoting a political ideology
I totally disagree with. Which I am dead against, in fact:
Feminism. A national broadcast service
should be neutral… …since it’s funded by tax-payers. Right? Anyway. Hey dude, are you a feminist too? No. I don’t believe in a social construct
called patriarchy… …that’s created specifically
to suppress women all the time. In my YouTube videos I address
32,000 people, my subscribers. I’m not always trying to convince them.
Sometimes I just want to vent. What is the online culture war? It’s a resistance movement
against political correctness. And the consequences it has
for people who want to shitpost… …make jokes, share their opinions. They’re being censored all the time,
by Twitter, for example. So there’s a counter movement
going on. We feel it’s a huge invasion
of our privacy. What I find striking
about this counter culture… …is that it mainly consists
of white males. Yes, they’re a very vocal group. It had to do with the fact that the
politically correct mainstream media… …have decided that the white male
is the culprit and the enemy. The white male was behind slavery, and
now racism, discrimination, sexism. It’s always the white male’s fault. That’s why this group is so vocal. Unfortunately she’s
the CEO of YouTube. The CEO of YouTube
is an extreme-left feminist. That’s Susan Wojcicki. She abuses her power and her platform
to force her views and ideology… …and her feminism on YouTube
and the rest of the world. That’s why YouTube sucks right now. That’s why videos are being demonized.
My videos and your videos. A huge setback for me… …is that YouTube has started
to censor my videos too. Payments are cancelled and so on. I’m being blocked in all sorts
of ways since last year. It can be pretty demotivating. Will you stop posting videos?
– No, I won’t. Because in a way it helps me
prove my point. My opinion is: Look how these
opinions are being censored. How political correctness
is taking over everything. The online media and social media. When people see that my opinions
about that are censored… …it’s proof that I’m right. It’s not the way I’d like to,
but it does work. They see me as an opponent,
so you start behaving that way. You start seeing them as the enemy. Whether the establishment
intends to be or not… …it is effectively more left-wing.
– Left-oriented anyway. So the online counter culture
is more right-wing. People find each other, they join forces. In the US they say:
Conservatism is the new punk-rock. In the 1960s there was
a left-wing backlash… …against the traditional,
stratified society. Back then it was the left who advocated
free speech and freedom… …and breaking taboos.
And now it’s the other way around. We all rebel against our parents.
– Exactly. Are you curious how internet trolls
are defending our freedom of speech? Come to the Meetup in
Pakhuis De Zwijger in Amsterdam. Or a Meetup in your area, like
‘The Black Elephant’ in Hoorn.