Addressing Online Hate: Chicago City Council leaders join Simon Wiesenthal Center for release of 2019 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report Card
May 13, 2019
Addressing Online Hate: Chicago City Council leaders join Simon Wiesenthal Center for release of 2019 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report Card.
For more information: Alison Pure-Slovin (708) 714-0749 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The release of the 2019 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report and Report Card by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Chicago City Council leaders will join official from the Simon Wiesenthal Center to address the impact on our communities by purveyors of hate on social media.
10:00 AM, Thursday, May 16th
2nd Floor outside City Council Chambers
City Hall, 121 N LaSalle St, Chicago
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Founder of Digital Terrorism & Hate Project
Alison Pure-Slovin, Midwest Regional Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center
Sgt. Lori Cooper, Commanding Officer of the Civil Rights Hate Crimes Unit of the Chicago Police Department
Mona Noriega, Commissioner of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations
Representatives of the City Council’s African-American, Latino, LGBT and Jewish caucuses including:
Alderman Michele Smith
Alderman Ray Lopez
Alderman Gilbert Villegas, Latino Caucus Chairman
Alderman Pat Dowell
Alderman Rod Sawyer, Black Caucus Chairman
Alderman Tom Tunney
Alderman James Cappleman
Alderman Brian Hopkins
Alderman Harry Osterman
Since the 1990’s, African Americans have been the #1 target of race-based hate crimes and Jews are the #1 target of religious-based hate crimes. Social media has supercharged hate, leading to an increase of lone wolf attacks in houses of worship. Chicagoland incidents of hate targeting minority groups, including minority students are part of an alarming nationwide trend. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has issued an interactive report (digitalhate.net) focusing on what has become a critical global frontier in the marketing of hate and terrorism. The Center has tracked, over the past year, the continued emergence of “AltTech” – a new generation of social media platforms that serves the Alt-Right – as well as the emergence on popular gaming platforms of bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center social media report card confirms that social media giants must do more to degrade the capabilities of racists, anti-Semites and terrorists,” said Rabbi Cooper, adding, “The idea of online hate and terror posing a danger is not an abstraction. We’ve seen the impact foreign terrorist groups who use the Internet to spread their messages of hate and to organize. Now we’ve seen the model replicated in the U.S. to tragic effect.”
Rabbi Cooper added: “New platforms are coming online with extreme frequency and they are quickly colonized by Alt-Tech. They encompass everything from interactive personal profiles and micro-blogging to chat and even video games, like Fortight, and gaming platforms, like Steam, where bigots demean the memory of the Holocaust and celebrate Nazi symbols like the swastika. We need to expose these tactics and educate the public to keep communities – in Chicago and around the nation – safe.”
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).