Hate in Cyberspace: Online Platforms Provide Refuge for White Supremacist Extremists

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Historically, white supremacist extremists have leveraged alternative social media platforms to promulgate their ideologies, interact with like-minded individuals online, and attempt to radicalize others. On October 27, Robert Bowers, a suspected white supremacist extremist who espoused anti-Semitic comments online, shot and killed 11 people and injured six at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Prior to the attack, Bowers posted on Gab, a social media website that claims it is a free-speech alternative to Facebook and Twitter, that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.” Additionally, Bowers shared other anti-Semitic and xenophobic content online, including a picture with the numbers “1488,” a numeric combination popular with white supremacists.

Join us as our analysts delve into how white supremacist extremists have used online platforms and how they leverage social media for various causes.

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