Social Media Must Do More To Thwart Subculture Of Hate Fueling Lone Wolf Terrorism - Simon Wiesenthal Center Debuts 2012 Digital Hate Report

New York, NY March 27, 2012 — Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and one of the leading experts in the analysis of cyberspace extremism released the 14th Annual Digital Terror & Hate Report and digital application (APP) Monday at the New York Tolerance Museum. Dr. William Vendley, Religions tor Peace Secretary General, and Mark Weitzman, Director of Simon Wiesenthal Center International Taskforce against Terrorism and Hate, accompanied him for the unveiling.

The release of Digital Terrorism and Hate Project’s (DTH) new Digital Terror and Hate password-sensitive APP coincides with the release of the DTH 2012 report, and is designed for law enforcement, government agencies, and policymakers. While cyber hate is on the rise, fewer than half of all law enforcement agencies (47%) have a social media policy, according to a recent police survey.

The 2012 DTH Report is based on approximately 15,000 problematic Web sites, social networking pages, forums and newer online technology games and apps. The interactive report presented the latest trends of how terrorist and hate groups manipulate and leverage internet technologies. The recent Toulouse France attack was sighted to illustrate the subculture of hate formed online. “The perpetrator in the horrific attack in Toulouse France may have learned how to create a bomb in Afghanistan, but he supercharged his hate from the internet” said Rabbi Cooper.

“Social networking companies’ commitment to deter the use of their services by terrorists and bigots is uneven. If social media outlets were to receive grades, they would receive the following: Youtube (C-), Facebook (A-), and Twitter (N/A)” stated Rabbi Cooper. “If the world is going to effectively deal with the growing threat from Lone Wolf terrorists, the social media companies lead by Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter must do more.”

Major interfaith leader Dr. William Vendley, concerned about the online targeting of religious minorities said, “None of the religious communities are immune from hatred. Today every religious community needs to build solidarity across all religious borders to reject both religiously based and targeted violence. Religions for Peace (NGO at United Nations) advances that solidarity in more than 90 countries around the world. We are pleased to be in partnership with Simon Wiesenthal Center.”

(From Left to Right: Annette Blum, Education Consultant at Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. William Vendley, Religions For Peace Secretary General, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Mark Weitzman, Director of Simon Wiesenthal Center International Taskforce Against Terrorism and Hate)

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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).