The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is very concerned about the increase of
anti-Semitic and racist material on the Internet. Children who explore the
Internet, whether visiting Web sites, reading E-mail messages, or conversing in
chat rooms, run the risk of encountering hate propaganda. Many hate groups
specifically target the young, and hateful messages can deeply influence and
affect our children.
Practically and legally, combating online extremism is enormously difficult.
The First Amendment's protection of free speech shields most extremist
propaganda, and Internet Service Providers, the private companies that host most
extremist sites, may freely choose whether to house these sites or not. When
providers choose not to host hateful sites, these sites migrate easily to the
computers of services without such restrictions. Furthermore, the size of the
Web, which contains hundreds of millions of distinct pages, complicates efforts
to identify extremist material. Hundreds if not thousands of Web pages, some of
which are not listed by search engines, contain bomb-making formulas.
These pages provide an introduction to many of the types of hate that exist
on the web. The first section explains why and how hate groups use the Internet.
The other pages give you an insight into the differing varieties of hate.