Militant and hate group internet use 'growing'

Reuters
Tuesday 16 March 2010 11:22
Comments

The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by militant and hate groups grew by almost 20 per cent in the past year, a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center found yesterday.

The study, using research by the centre and tips from the public, found more than 11,500 social networks, websites, forums and blogs promoting violence, anti-Semitism, homophobia, hate music and "terrorism," an increase from 10,000 last year.

"The numbers are probably, at the end of the day, multiples of that," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the centre's associate dean who has been researching hate on the internet since 1995. "That should be taken as a low ball figure."

Extremists also were heavily promoting online the idea of operating as so-called "lone wolves" rather than as part of a group, the human rights group named after the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal said.

Cooper told a news conference examples of hate on the internet included videos of extremists appealing for recruits and showing how to make improvised explosive devices. Online games ranged from bombing Haitian earthquake survivors to shooting illegal immigrants and gays. Facebook groups included "national kick a ginger day" and "I love curry bashing."

"While children are taught that 'sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you,' it's not always true," Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, from New York, told reporters. "Terrorism and intolerance start with words, but they grow into actions."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in