An important reminder after the word appeared in the headline of a Globe column: groups of white supremacists must be called what they are.

Last November, I said the term alt-right should be avoided whenever possible and if it must be used, in a quote for example, “it should always be explained in transparent and blunt terms.”

The term is deliberately misleading. It sounds harmless – almost trendy – when its real purpose is to make white nationalists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis sound less frightening. I said this is not an alternative to the right wing, as it might sound, it is “a racist movement” and “its views and positions are vile.”

My concern was followed the next day by a note from senior editors to all staff at The Globe that said: “The term alt-right refers to a collection of groups or individuals espousing racist, fascist or white-supremacist ideologies. We should avoid this term as much as possible. If we must use it, in a quote, for example, we should provide a definition of the term.”

Continue reading this story on the Globe and Mail website, where it was first published.

Sylvia Stead is the Public Editor of the Globe and Mail.