Hate on the World Wide Web: A Brief Guide to Cyberspace Bigotry
What Can Be Done?
Posted: March 1, 2000
Censorship is not the answer to hate on the Internet. ADL supports the free speech guarantees embodied in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, believing that the best way to combat hateful speech is with more speech.
ADL continuously monitors and documents Internet hate. By communicating its findings, ADL promotes public awareness of the plans and history of online bigots, in line with the League's view that exposure will lead to rejection of haters and their propaganda. ADL has made available an increasing amount of information to Internet users by significantly expanding its Web site.
Additionally, in cooperation with The Learning Company (TLC) of Massachusetts, ADL plans to release filtering software using the technology of TLC's CyberPatrol® software. This software, titled ADL HateFilter™, will provide parents and others with the ability to block access to Internet sites that ADL believes promote hate directed at groups or individuals that are singled out because of their religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
HateFilter does not seek to prohibit hate speech on the Internet, but recognizes that the Internet is different from libraries and bookstores, where material can be labeled and organized in a way which enables parents to exercise discretion about what their children see. HateFilter is an attempt to afford parents the ability to exercise similar discretion over the Internet.