Online hate sites grow with social networks

According to a new report on digital hate speech, terrorists and racists are turning to online social networks and depending less on traditional web sites to recruit impressionable followers, the New York Times reports. 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. “The real growth is where it is for everyone: in social networks,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an associate dean at the center, which is a Jewish human-rights group. 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. “We don’t want to help the bad guys,” Rabbi Cooper explained…

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