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ADL Experts Address OSCE Paris Conference on Internet Hate

Two experts on hate on the Internet addressed a landmark international conference convened by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism on the Internet. The conference was hosted by the government of France on June 16-17, 2004 in Paris.

Brian Marcus, Director of Internet Monitoring for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who was appointed to serve on the official U.S. delegation, and Christopher Wolf, Partner, Proskauer, Rose LLP and Chair of ADL's Internet Task Force, each addressed the meeting during several sessions.

The OSCE Meeting on the relationship between racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic propaganda on the Internet and hate crimes was convened by the OSCE to promote tolerance and non-discrimination and examine how combat hate is fueled by racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic propaganda on the Internet.

The official U.S. recommendations to the conference included a number of ADL best practices such as ADL's HateFilter -- a voluntary, free software program that users may download to block hate sites -- and law enforcement training. ADL's work with Internet providers was applauded by representatives of the Internet industry as an excellent example of how non-governmental organizations can work with the tech industry to fight hate - and this type of partnership is also noted in the official U.S. recommendations.

Mr. Marcus addressed the plenary, "Public and Private Partnership in the Fight Against Racism, Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism on the Internet" sharing ADL best practices as models for other organizations and nations to follow. Mr. Marcus highlighted, among others, the Partners Against Hate program , which, as part of its youth violence prevention campaign, has published two guides on the issue: Investigating Hate Crimes on the Internet, a technical assistance brief for law enforcement, and Hate on the Internet: A Response Guide for Educators and Families. Both guides were distributed to all conference participants.

Mr. Wolf addressed a session on "The Nature and Extent Between Racist, Xenophobic and anti-Semitic Propaganda on the Internet and Hate Crimes."

The ADL experts presented the U.S. perspective at a special session convened by the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). ADL, the sole U.S. representative in the Amsterdam-based INACH, has a full-time staff of Internet monitors who monitor and report on extremist use of the Internet. Through its participation in INACH, ADL is part of a global effort to fight hate online through a variety of innovative means, including educating children and teens about the dangers of hate online.

The meeting follows the landmark April 2004 OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism in Berlin, Germany. At the time, leaders of OSCE nations unveiled a landmark "Berlin Declaration" against anti-Semitism, pledging to "intensify efforts to combat anti-Semitism in all its manifestations and to promote and strengthen tolerance and non-discrimination."