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U.K. disco fans Googlebomb far-right extremists

It's the English Disco Lovers versus the English Defence League in a battle for Google supremacy.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 8, 2013   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 1:37 am CDT

England’s far-right extremist group, the English Defence League, has a new enemy: Disco.

The English Defence League, which has regularly made headlines in the U.K. for its Islamophobic protests and allegedly racist sentiments, is often subject to criticism from human rights organisations and anti-racism campaigns. Its newest opponents, however, have gone for a rather different technique than organising a counter-protest or writing to their local member of parliament.

In a move inspired by Dan Savage’s Spreading Santorum campaign, the English Disco Lovers have set up a site designed to “Googlebomb” the term “EDL,” taking the top result for the acronym away from the racist group. Written in the style of a genuine political manifesto, their “Disco Statement” begins with their motto: “Unus mundus, unus gens, unus disco (One world, one race, one disco).”

In a statement to the Daily Dot, the English Disco Lovers said:

“We all come from activist backgrounds and have been around and involved in protests/campaigns from a young age. We joked about reclaiming the “EDL” acronym and putting it to better use… The campaign has been incredibly successful and has made it clear that humour is one of the greatest weapons against hate.”

Beginning as a one-off joke in September 2013, the English Disco Lovers’ Facebook page has now overtaken the English Defence League’s own page in Facebook Likes, inspiring image memes like this to go viral among their 23,000 followers:

Image via Facebook

While the Disco Lovers are now a good 8,000 likes ahead on Facebook, their Twitter presence is lagging behind the Defence League’s rather militant official account. The Disco Lovers have, however, inspired their own offshoot group already: The Bass National Party. Using the acronym BNP to match up with the right-wing British National Party, the Bass National Party seem more serious about their musical taste than the Disco Lovers, but are equally enthusiastic about parodying the U.K.’s growing far-right political movement.

As for the Googlebomb plan, the Disco Lovers are slowly creeping up towards first place in the search results for “EDL”, with the second hit now being a Guardian article highlighting the anti-racist history of disco:

Photo via Single Track World

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*First Published: Feb 8, 2013, 5:04 pm CST