The Internet is an ideal medium for hate groups, such as neo-Nazis, because of the mass exposure, inexpensiveness, uncensored nature and ease of publishing offered. The Internet allows hate groups to target a broad audience: impressionable children are the most vulnerable. Attempts at censorship fail because of the international nature of the Internet, and to a lesser extent, free speech contentions. Instead, the freedom of speech exercised by cyberhate groups can be applied by online anti-hate advocates to counter cyberhate.
Educating youth is the most important tool against cyberhate, however. Teaching children to be critical of content on the Internet implies that children think critically about cultural tolerance and intolerance: hate in reality should not be treated differently than cyberhate. Given that an education is provided to youth about cultural issues in school, censorship of hate propaganda is not necessary.
Cyberhate and Freedom of Speech
"Hate Propaganda in Cyberspace", by Young M. Kim, attempts to address the issue of censorship of the Internet with respect to hate propaganda. The relevancy of the argument against censorship in favour of free speech is undeniable, but Kim's means of arguing so is mediocre. Kim's supporting evidence is weak and contradictory, her style depreciating, and her solution vague but sensible. Despite these shortcomings, the idea to utilize free speech and public education to combat cyberhate is a powerful suggestion in comparison to the social impediments of censorship.
Kim begins the article by stressing the growing number of hate groups and web sites on the Internet in the USA. This provides the reader with a reason f...
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Debra VAN AUSDALE and Joe R. FEAGIN (2001). The First R. How Children Learn Race and Racism. Maryland, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Incorporated.
Joseph STRAUBHAAR and Robert LaROSE (2002). Media Now. Communications Media in the Information Age, 3rd edition. Belmont, Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.
KIM, Young M. (2002). "Hate Propaganda in Cyberspace: Censorship, Freedom of Speech, and Critical Surfing", Computers in the Social Studies Journal, vol. 10, nº4 (October/December 2002). Online at: http://www.cssjournal.com/y_m_kim.html, consulted on January 23rd, 2003.
Lawrence A. HIRSCHFIELD (1996). Race in the Making. Cognition, Culture, and the Child's Construction of Human Kinds. Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press.
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