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Too many media outlets are using the term without definition or context — and these omissions help normalize extremist groups and create an environment where increased levels of dehumanization, harassment and violence against Muslims, immigrants, people of color, women and the LGBTQIA+ community become daily occurrences.

Accountability is needed

The Associated Press just released standards for reporting on the “alt-right” — urging the media to stop using the term without context. All news outlets should follow the AP’s recommendation to “avoid using the term generically and without definition ... because it is not well known and ... may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience.”

People’s lives are at risk as members of the incoming Trump administration call for mass deportation of undocumented people, a ban on Muslims entering the country, and suppression of the Black vote.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were 701 reported incidents of hateful harassment in the 10 days following the election. These incidents can't be separated from Trump’s hateful platform or the agenda of the so-called “alt-right.”

News outlets need to call out racism, neo-Nazism and misogyny for what they are. To do otherwise is to mainstream hate as it’s being invited into the White House.

Urge news outlets to hold the administration and white-supremacist groups accountable for their actions and stop doing PR for racists.

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