May 2011 - Racism on the internet


It gives me great pleasure to introduce this new edition of ENARgy which is now redesigned into an exciting new webzine! We hope that this new design will satisfy our readers and will allow us to include even more topical articles and contributions from our work on anti-racism, and will provide a refreshing and new policy forum for all those involved.

Racism on the Internet: An overview of the European legislative context

European legislative and non-legislative actions to combat racism are quite fragmented, but can generally be divided into four broad categories. These are legislation (with varying degrees of enforceability), non-legislative measures, such as awareness-raising programmes, obligations arising from international law and efforts to cooperate with industry to minimise the racism in the digital environment.

The crisis, the Internet and racism in Europe

In many places in Europe, racist violence is on the rise and racist and xenophobic views are spreading, especially among young people. This is the conclusion of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the Council of Europe’s independent anti-racism monitoring body, which in July 2010 presented its annual report before representatives of the organization’s 47 member states in Strasbourg. An important contributing factor to the recent growth in intolerance is the global economic crisis, which has made it easier to peddle fear and to seek scapegoats, with the most common targets being Roma, Jews, Blacks, Muslims and new arrivals, such as immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees. The Internet has become the primary arena in which racists not only seek to win European hearts and minds, but also to recruit, radicalise, organise and link together to take action in the physical world.

Sticks and Stones ‘It’s only words’

‘Damn Muslims should all be burned’. ‘They forgot to gas you Jews’. ‘All the Polish are lazy drunk bastards’. ‘Dirty thieving gypsies, they should be driven into the sea’. That’s all they do, those black assholes: rob, steal and live from social welfare’. ‘Faggots are unnatural and perverted, better kill them before they contaminate society more’.

Online Hate and Free Speech: A View From the US

ADL is dedicated to the fight against anti-Semitism, hate and bigotry. We have successfully advocated for the passage of hate crime laws in 46 state jurisdictions and in the Fall of 2009 succeeded in our decades-long campaign to have a proper U.S. federal hate crime law that, among other things, protects the GLBT community in a systematic fashion. We are the leading U.S. non-governmental organization training law enforcement on the issue of hate and extremism, we are a leading U.S. educator of children and their teachers to become allies in the fight against hate and bullying, and we have well over a dozen staff members working full time to track and expose hate and extremism. We have been leaders in spotting trends in the world of hate and are proud to note that our first report on electronic hate – relating to bulletin board services – was published close to thirty ago.

Cyberhate on Hyves: How to prevent it and how to address it

By being the biggest social network in the Netherlands it is needless to say that we are faced by challenges. These challenges revolve around having to deal with hatred and racism, bigoted and extremist content as well as cyberbullying in all its forms. Ever so often these create conflict of rights between freedom of expression vs. countering hate speech.

Lesoir.be launches “The troll hunt”

No, the internet has not made people “stupid and racist”.

Forums reflect and magnify society.

Community managers are urgently needed in editorial offices.

South African company spreads cyber-hate in Poland

Allegro is Poland’s biggest internet trader. Its online auctions are full of openly nazi and racist propaganda material such as football hooligan stickers bearing the racist Celtic cross symbol, accompanied by slogans such as “Poland for the Polish”, “White Power” and “Fuck the Gypsies”. Although these sales constitute a tiny fraction of the multi-million company’s turnover, Allegro flatly rejects any attempts to curtail them and even tries to intimidate those who dare speak out against it.

ENAR France gears up to monitor the National Plan Against Racism

In response to severe criticism from experts from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in August 2010, the French authorities, at that time engaged in a major process of eviction and expulsion of Roma and Traveller people, promised the imminent establishment of a comprehensive plan to combat racism. NGOs and victims of racism had been waiting almost ten years for this plan to be drawn up, in compliance with the commitments made by the French government when it signed the Durban Declaration.