Neo-nazis recruit via social networks

Neo-Nazis recruit via social networks

The social web is the recruitment platform par excellence for neo-nazis, reported the youth protection organization.Net on wednesday in berlin. The platforms are particularly popular with children and young people – the most important target groups, said stefan glaser, deputy head of the youth protection facility. Right-wing extremists often use emotional topics such as child abuse and unemployment as a coder.

With youth protection.Net received 1607 reports of right-wing extremist content last year, about a third more than in 2010 (1150). 629 related to content on the web 2.0, especially on facebook and youtube – in 2010, there were only 270. In 978 cases, users complained about classic internet sites, most of which came from the environment of neo-nazi groups, autonomous nationalists or right-wing extremist mail order companies. More and more frequently, the youth protection groups are turning to punishable content. "We estimate it so that the scene feels safe from prosecution," said glaser.

The right-wing extremists target young people outside the scene with emotional issues such as child abuse or unemployment. At first glance, the calls were inconspicuous – "only when you take a closer look do you find anti-democratic slogans," said glaser. They also rely on the appeal of subversive actions such as flash mobs. The hard ideology only emerges later.

"The internet is an important space for action, where the extreme right often shows its true face," said thomas kruger, president of the federal center for political education. The ground for right-wing extremist violence is often prepared in the social media. He called on the platform operators to "take social responsibility" and take proactive action against extreme content. The net community also needs to do more: it must not only discuss data protection and the freedom of the medium, but must also make it clear to users that civil courage is important.

Glaser took facebook and co to task: "in the event of massive abuse, I must take action myself as a platform operator."The youth protection officers used terms typical of the scene in their research, and the companies were able to follow this approach as well. In addition, he demanded that the same or similar content, such as videos, cannot be uploaded again – for example, by the operators filtering the clips in advance, as is already done in the case of copyright infringements.

However, youtube’s parent company google rejects such an approach. Each video has to be checked individually, because the context is crucial. For example, images of nazi marches could also be used in news broadcasts or documentaries. Facebook pointed out that it was already using technical systems to proactively identify violations of the guidelines and "to take appropriate measures against them. Both portals also participate in actions against right-wing extremism, such as those of the "laut gegen nazis" association.

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