New SWC Report Warns About Emergence of “Alt-Tech"

Simon Wiesenthal Center
“While hate is not new, the delivery systems are"
New York, NY, March 6, 2018 – The Simon Wiesenthal Center released its annual Digital Hate and Terrorism Report Card today at a press conference at the office of New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, pictured, with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean, and Richard Eaton, SWC Digital Terrorism & Hate Project Co-Director.

NEW REPORT WARNS OF THE EMERGENCE OF ALT-TECH – A NEW GENERATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS THAT SERVES THE ALT-RIGHT

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s interactive report, Digital Terrorism and Hate 2018, focuses on what has become a critical global frontier in the marketing of hate and terrorism. The troubling increase in sophistication that extremists are demonstrating in spreading their messages online and the need for a coalition of corporations, parents, educators, non-profit organizations, and governments that can empower young people to mobilize in fighting hate was highlighted during the launch of the 2018 report in New York.

The accompanying Digital Terrorism and Hate 'Report Card' evaluates the efforts of powerful online platforms in removing hate and terror-related postings and recognizing the strides that some of the larger platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have made working
with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.  Together, Facebook and Twitter have removed hundreds of thousands of posts.

CRITICAL FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT:
  • Emergence of Alt-Tech – social media tools of post-millennial/millennial white supremacists and other extremists who are highly skilled content creators and social media marketers
  • Leveraging of platforms by extremists, including members of Generation Z, such as vk.com, that are less aggressive in confronting extreme content
  • Building new outlets by the Alt-Tech which include “goyfundme,” and “hatreon”
  • Mainstreaming of hate targeting younger generations with language that doesn’t sound hateful on the surface, but denigrates groups and often attempts to rewrite history
  • Mixing and matching public platforms with off-the-shelf encryption by an online terrorists and bigots alike

“We must use every tool in our own powerful arsenal to reach digital-savvy teens and young adults with positive messages that empower them to be our allies. The recent mass murder in South Florida is but one brutal reminder of the price we all pay for lessons unlearned in the social media age,” Rabbi Cooper warned in an op/ed published on fox.com: Digital terrorism in 2018 - Generation Z has arrived

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