Online Hate Sites Grow With Social Networks

Online Hate Sites Grow With Social Networks (New York Times)
Terrorists and racists are turning to online social networks and depending less on traditional Web sites, according to a new report on digital terror and hate speech. The report, by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, found a 20 percent increase in the number of hate and terrorist-abetting Web sites, social network pages, chat forums and micro-bloggers over the past year, to a total of 11,500.

March 16, 2010, 9:28 am
Online Hate Sites Grow With Social Networks
By STEVE LOHR

Terrorists and racists are turning to online social networks and depending less on traditional Web sites, according to a new report on digital terror and hate speech.

The report, by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, found a 20 percent increase in the number of hate and terrorist-abetting Web sites, social network pages, chat forums and micro-bloggers over the last year, to a total of 11,500.

“The real growth is where it is for everyone: in social networks,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an associate dean at the center, a Jewish human rights group, which issued the report on Monday.

Longtime Web sites like Stormfront, which bills itself as a leading site of the “White Nationalist Community,” are still around and active, Rabbi Cooper said. But such sites have become the old-line media of online racism.

The annual report is intended as a “collective snapshot” of the activities of hate groups and terrorists online, Rabbi Cooper said. It is distributed as a CD-ROM, mainly to law enforcement agencies and nonprofit groups, instead of online because it includes terrorist tutorials, like video clips of bomb-making instructions.

“We don’t want to help the bad guys,” Rabbi Cooper explained.

The report is part of the center’s effort to raise awareness about hate groups, and the center urges Web users who encounter hate sites, videos or groups to e-mail links to ireport@wiesenthal.com. The center then contacts Web companies or law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.

“The goal is to get the collective genius of the Internet to help combat this problem,” he said.

(Via QuickLinks Update.)

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