Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet

Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet

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by Abraham H. Foxman, Christopher Wolf
     
 

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Emboldened by anonymity, individuals and organizations from both left and right are freely spewing hateful vitriol on the Internet without worrying about repercussions.Lies, bullying, conspiracy theories, bigoted and racist rants, and calls for violence targeting the most vulnerable circulate openly on the web.And thanks to the guarantees of the First Amendment and… See more details below

Overview

Emboldened by anonymity, individuals and organizations from both left and right are freely spewing hateful vitriol on the Internet without worrying about repercussions.Lies, bullying, conspiracy theories, bigoted and racist rants, and calls for violence targeting the most vulnerable circulate openly on the web.And thanks to the guarantees of the First Amendment and the borderless nature of the Internet,governing bodies are largely helpless to control this massive assault on human dignity and safety. Abe Foxman and Christopher Wolf expose the threat that this unregulated flow of bigotry poses to the world.They explore how social media companies like Facebook and YouTube, as well as search engine giant Google, are struggling to reconcile the demands of business with freedom of speech and the disturbing threat posed by today's purveyors of hate. And they explain the best tools available to citizens, parents, educators, law enforcement officers, and policy makers toprotect thetwin values of transparency and responsibility. As Foxman and Wolf show, only an aroused and engaged citizenry can stop the hate contagion before it spirals out of control - with potentially disastrous results.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A swift yet thorough examination of hate speech on the Internet. Anti-Defamation League director Foxman (Jews and Money: The Story of a Stereotype, 2010, etc.) and privacy expert Wolf join forces in exploring the increasingly volatile subject of Internet hate speech and cyberbullying, a "serious illness" with lethal ramifications. The authors support this statement in chapters clearly defining various types of noxious online rhetoric and the most recognizable extremist groups spreading it through Internet social portals and artistic media (i.e., music albums and written propaganda frequently aimed at schoolchildren). It's the viral and populist nature of the Web, the authors write, that enables its users to freely disseminate damaging information on a global scale to wide-eyed readers. Yet this characteristic also hangs the responsibility on these same readers to squash the proliferation of hate speech at its source with counterspeech and by notifying authorities. In a technologically advanced world where words have become weapons, Foxman and Wolf acknowledge the many Americans who believe there is a fine line between "the right to expression and the right to human dignity." They compare limited American laws surrounding intimidation and the inciting of violent acts with those of certain zero-tolerance European countries, which imprison offenders without question. They also offer intelligent dialogue on the pros and cons of formally outlawing hate speech altogether in the U.S. and spotlight constructive Internet movements focused on stemming the tide of hate speech online. Most importantly, the authors repeatedly appeal to Internet users to get involved, become informed, and exercise the power of education to combat and defuse inflammatory communications and to promote tolerance both on- and offline. A straightforward, relevant discourse on the pernicious nature of online intimidation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781137356222
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
0 MB

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