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October 28, 2011
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Report: Hate groups, terrorists are using Facebook more

The internet continues to serve as the incubator and validator of 9/11 and is responsible for a disturbing spike in attacks, experts said

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A group unveiled its annual report on digital terror and hate at a briefing in New York attended by police officers.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's report concludes that social networking is increasingly the weapon of choice for bigots, and terrorists, a press release said. There are 14,000 problematic social networks, forums, blogs, and Twitter accounts — up from 11,500 last year — that support the subculture of hate, according to Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

A pioneer in monitoring the growth of hate and terrorist activity online, Rabbi Cooper said the internet continues to serve as the incubator and validator of 9/11 and is responsible for a disturbing spike in attacks against religious minorities in the US and abroad.

"As the traffic on social networking sites increases, so do the potential dividends for hate and terror groups," Cooper said. "For this reason, it is imperative our law enforcement professionals are aware of the trends in digital hate and can take a stand against it.”

Some of the other findings include:

• The full range of Internet technologies that have been harnessed by Islamist terrorists and their supporters, including the Yemen-based radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, to recruit and encourage “Lone Wolf” terrorists.

• The dramatic increase in “trolling”, where the identity of an innocent person is hijacked by bigots and bullies.

• That hate games remain a prominent component of the online subculture of hate targeting gays, immigrants, African Americans and Jews.

The Center reported that partly through its efforts, social media companies have begun to pay serious attention to the abuse of their services by racists, anti-Semites and terrorists.

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To obtain a copy of the report, contact the Center's Public Relations Department at 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal on Twitter.






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