Two of the U.S’s leading experts on bigoted speech and the Internet have joined forces as authors of a new book that lays out a blueprint for governments, industry leaders and societies to take proactive steps to stem the tide of hate speech on the Internet.
Abraham H. Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and a longtime leader in the fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry, and Christopher Wolf, ADL Civil Rights Chair and one of the nation’s leading practitioners in the field of Internet and privacy law, outline the challenges posed by online hate and propose a series of solutions in their new book, Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet.
The book will also be available for downloading to e-readers on June 4.
Kirkus Reviews calls Viral Hate “a swift yet thorough examination of hate speech on the Internet.” Mike McCurry, former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, said the authors do “… a remarkable job in Viral Hate of balancing important concerns about freedom of expression with a blunt look at how the Internet can distort those freedoms to undermine a democratic society that we cherish.”
Viral Hate discusses how in the past 20 years, the Internet, with all of its many advantages to society and the free-flow of information, has become one of the most powerful tools for bigots to spread evil messages of intolerance and rage. As the Internet has grown and changed over the years, racists and bigots have found new ways to exploit the technology to spread hateful messages and recruit others to join their cause, and the book provides numerous examples of how this has happened.
“We each have experienced and witnessed, in different ways, anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of hate,” Foxman and Wolf write in the book’s introduction. “We have joined together to write this book to share our combined professional knowledge of the issue of Internet hate, to raise awareness of the seriousness of a rapidly growing societal problem, and to propose ways in which good people – including the leaders of the Internet industry – can address the problem without compromising our vital historic commitment to freedom of expression.”