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Should Internet Hate Sites Be regulated By the Federal Government

By

Christopher Norris

 

Introduction

Statistics show that hate groups slowly increased Internet users targeted toward women and children according to a report by the Anti- Defamation League (ADL) in the New York Times. The ADL is an organization that fights Bigotry. ADL have monitored the use of the Internet by Hate groups by groups in 1995. The ADL has another report on their website about hate sites adding women and children pages to their website over the past two years.
 
The Ku Klux Klan, Skin heads and other racist groups spread hate messages via the Internet whose target audience is street thugs to college- bound teens, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Montgomery, an Alabama Center, a human rights organization that tracts hate groups and their activities. Hate sites on the Internet had grown nearly sixty percent from 163 in 1997 to 254 at the end of 1998.
 
While on the computer, I visited the yahoo website, searched, and typed “hate/ niggers” into the search engine; surprisingly found 24,800 sites. I think that these websites can be very influential to kids and teens in today’ society because when they are exposed to racism early in age, they will begin to act upon the “lessons.” They will have obtained negative traits and attitudes towards themselves, life, and to society. These negative traits and attitudes tend to lead to violence from hate speeches and web pages created by hate groups.
Having these sites to these different organizations is a way of bringing people into their movement said Jordan B. Kessler, the author of the report, “Poisoning in the Web: Hatred Online.” These sites aimed at teenagers in particular “skinhead” pages featuring music with white supremacist message, have been around for several years. I went to the site of the “World Church of the Creator,” a white supremacist message, which feature a coloring books and cross word puzzles for children with clues that include crude references to black people.

Our Children

I also visited www.stormfront.org, where I went to the “For kids” page and there I saw a fourteen-year-old Webmaster named Derek who had a message on the site but it seemed like an older person wrote it because it seemed so free of grammatical errors. As I was reading the message the last two sentences read, “I would really appreciate it if the people visit my site would please keep this in mind, if your thoughts are towards me are sick and vile as some people please keep them to yourself. After all I am only fourteen years old and I really do not need your hateful thoughts in my head.”
 
Reading this message, It seems like Derek wants some one to feel sorry for him or even excuse his behavior because he is fourteen and that he should not know any better. Which gives the whole thing away and proves even more that these hates site are influents to kids because they are receiving this message from kid letting them know its alright to hate, Because kid can have an effect on each other, like peer pressure. Another web site put up by an anti-government while supremacist group called Posse Comitatus, juxapaposes a sketching of a lynching captioned. “It’s time for an old-fashioned American justice” this site has a feature in which pre-teens can email a fourteen year old name Jeff for some advice.
 
In my research, I also found that there are a lot of words that a racist could lead someone to violence from the influence of these hate crimes through the hate speech that are on these websites. After September 11 there has been an increasing rate in hate crimes. I research at the Pluralism Project at www.Pluralism.org/news/ing . I printed out 72 pages of hate crimes, featuring articles of Muslims, skinheads, Arabs, South Asians Face threat, Violence and Immediate Backlash. Other articles read, “Muslims women are targets of hate crimes, and Atlanta area Muslims fear for safety of women and children”.
The more hate sites there are mean that more people are influenced by the number of sites that have grown over the past 4 years. There are 65,639 hate sites on the Internet. I have come up with a logical argument proofing my thesis statement, which Hate sites influence kids and lead to violence. For example, if you put logic into this it seems as if these hate sites did not influence hate on other races then it would just influence the browsers of these hate sites just to make hate web pages.
 
With any type of advertisement there is a target audience. Now when I put the number of web pages that exist on the Internet with the number of the hate crimes since September 11, 2001 to the most recent hate crime October 27, 2003, there were over 100 hate crimes in the past three years and people are reading the hate speeches thinking it is ok to hate and want to get a web page on the Internet.
 
The users can tell their story of how they orcherastrated an all white prom in Alabama. Or be a 14-year-old Webmaster that does not like black people. With the rapid growth of WebPages and violence from the year 2001 till 2003 men, women, and kids were influenced by the hate sites proving my theory that the Internet Web pages does lead to violence and influences kids to the exposure of racism at and adapt the negative traits and attitude at an early age.
 
Up until the Internet, hate group had to limit themselves to the post office boxes and small rallies in God forsaken places said Abraham H. Foxmen, national director of the Anti- Defamation League and the Advent of the Internet. He said, “he provided bigots with a super highway to cheaply and attractively reach millions of people, they could never reach before.” He quoted on www.rickross.com/referencelcel/hategroups/hategroups39.html.
 
I agree with Abraham H. Foxmen, how these hate groups are using the Internet to reach millions of people, they could never reach before. I my research, I found a couple of organizations that monitor hate sites Southern Poverty Law Center and Wiesenthal Center. I feel as if there are organizations that monitor these hate sites then why not go ahead and let the federal government regulate on the sites that are cruel and most devious to other races. For example what if some on wanted to learn how to build a bomb. I saw on the news where, the FBI were investing and monitoring all of the “build a bomb” websites. As I was doing my research of the hate sites I noticed that some of them had links and instructions on how to build a bomb right from the hate sites.
After the Oklahoma City tragedy we have seen first hand what bombs can do. So to prevent that from happening again we should have the federal government regulate these types of websites. If there is a risk and taken a chance to stop something where innocent people might loose their life, then I think you draw the line at the First Amendment to the Constitution, “The Right to Free Speech” that does not include hate speeches. I do not agree with the opponents argument on Freedom of Speech because our constitution was not written on the laws of hate, Therefore should not be backed up by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
After presenting evidence, reasons, and research, that I proved my thesis that Internet hate sites are influential to kids and leads to violence, and the Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) theory proves how human behaviors can be altered by exchange of information through machines.
I have given statistics, presented evidence through my research, two credible points, presented an opponent’s argument, truth and reason behind my logic, so since my points are logical I have come up with a resolution where, as we can filter the search engines so it will make it harder if so impossible for our children to access those sites. But for the most part yes, the Federal Government should regulate Internet hate sites.