March 16, 2010

Online Presence Of Hate Groups On The Rise

Blogs, online forums, and social networking websites are increasingly being utilized by hate groups and other militant factions, according to a report released Monday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The study found an almost 20-percent increase in the amount of websites, forums, blogs, and social networking pages promoting anti-Semitism, homophobia, hate-inspired media, violence, and terroristic activities in the past calendar year -- from 10,000 in 2009 and 11,500 in 2010.

During a March 15 press conference, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, showed samples of materials which, according to Reuters, 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.'"

During his speech, Cooper also stressed that the number "should be taken as a low-ball figure...The numbers are probably, at the end of the day, multiples of that."

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center was established in 1977 and was named for the famed Holocaust survivor who helped pursue and bring Nazi war criminals to trial. It is an international Jewish human rights organization that works to overcome hate and promote human rights worldwide. It is an accredited non-governmental organization (NGO) and maintains offices in New York; Toronto; Boca Raton, Florida; Paris; Buenos Aires; and Jerusalem.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also oversees and maintains the Museum of Tolerance, the Center for Human Dignity, and the New York Tolerance Center.


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