Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey talks about the Rift virtual-reality headset during a news conference Thursday, June 11, 2015, in San Francisco. Oculus is expanding its highly anticipated virtual-reality headset to simulate the sensation of touch and gesturing as part of its quest to blur the lines between the fake and genuine world. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (Associated Press)

"Meme magic is real": Silicon Valley whiz kid is financing an assembly line for alt-right clickbait

Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, a near billionaire, is backing a pro-Trump group that creates offensive content


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Taylor Link
September 24, 2016 2:50AM (UTC)

A 24-year-old tech entrepreneur is funding a pro-Trump non-profit that specializes in online trolling. Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR, has been providing capital for a political organization called Nimble America, the Daily Beast reports.

Nimble America has overt ties to the Reddit channel r/The_Donald, a popular forum for Trump supporters and the alt-right. One of the co-founders of the group is a moderator on the pro-Trump subreddit.

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r/The_Donald has almost generated as much controversies as it has produced racist content. Trump’s official Twitter account has tweeted memes and videos that originally circulated on the Reddit channel.

But now the subreddit's trolls have found a financier in Luckey, resulting in the creation of a 501(c)4 non-profit.

In 2014, Luckey made headlines for selling his virtual reality company to Facebook for $2 billion. It was on the social network where Luckey met the future co-founders of Nimble America. “I came into touch with them over Facebook,” Luckey told the Daily Beast. “It went along the lines of ‘hey, I have a bunch of money. I would love to see more of this stuff.'”

Six days ago, Nimble America announced its operations on r/The_Donald.

“What we’ve been able to accomplish here has been amazing and much bigger than any of us and certainly much bigger than Reddit,” the organization wrote on r/The_Donald. “We’ve proven that shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real.”

Since the launch, the organization has held fundraising efforts on the subreddit. Luckey pledged to match the donations within 48 hours.

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financial statement available on Nimble America’s website accounts for $2,711 in spending for Facebook ads and billboards.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Alt-right Donald Trump Internet Memes Non-profit Propaganda Reddit

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