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Virtual Talmud

Hate Is at Home on the Internet

It is a truism that the power of the Internet is to allow for the proliferation and dissemination of information without passing through central sources (newspapers, radio, TV) that would screen or block them. The advantages are obvious: repressive governments can be pressured by bloggers, writers and artists who are given a forum for bringing their work directly to viewers, and so forth. The danger, of course, of not having barriers to putting out information is that a lot of junk gets out there that a responsible central source (an editor, a journalist) might filter out or at least provide some perspective on. (“All the news that’s fit to print” is still an operative category: I may want untrammeled access to information, but I also want discerning people who are held to high standards of integrity to offer their honest opinions on which information is worth paying attention to).


The darkest side of this dark side of the Internet is the proliferation of hate groups: the Internet is a perfect medium for those who have been marginalized in getting their message out in more traditional ways. Organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League monitor online hate group activity and put out their own counter-messages. Given the realities of the Internet, as well as the principles of free speech, it is virtually impossible to shut hate groups down and prevent them from spreading their venom. Instead, the best we can do is to consistently combat their claims in the marketplace of ideas (on the principle that sunshine is the best disinfectant), continue to be sure their message is marginalized in mainstream media, and vigorously pursue criminal cases against the organizations and their leaders since they are often involved in a wide variety of illegal pursuits (from tax evasion to money laundering to theft) to fund their operations.

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posted March 12, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Must focus on topic… hate is bad. Nazis bad. Bad nazis. Mustn’t think of other subject absolutely everyone is thinking and talking about… oops… right… must stop hate… hate is the opposite of love… love potion number 9… client number 9… oops… must protect Democrats… Southern Poverty Law Center… Morris Dees… Morris dees Dallas…Spitzer? I never even saw her!
“held to high standards of integrity”… must stop hate websites… must watch love websites… no mustn’t watch love websites either… think ADL… think looking at Abe Foxman-that should take my mind off…
That’s it! Threaten to post photos of Abe Foxman everywhere if hate sites are allowed to be put up. That way people will stop watching hate sites and by looking at him will lose interest in what everyone is thinking about, but no one on this blog will mention.

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Scott R.

posted March 13, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Are you for real? Are you even a Jew? You do us more damage with comments like that than any Jew-hater possibly could.
You know who’s a real Jewish conservative? Robert Novak. Except he became a Catholic – which is the ultimate outcome for Jewish conservatives.

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posted March 13, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Really? You mean no one is talking about the Spitzer situation? Of course not. Everyone is busy talking about hate websites, that’s right. And if you do want to see anti-Israel/Jewish websites look to the left (eg Counterpunch)
BTW Novak became a Catholic when he got married, a ‘seal-the-deal’ conversion like in other religions.
As to Jewish political conservatives (aka ‘neocons’ in lefty language), I thought they were in control of evertything in America now according to the left.
As to Jewish social conservatives well, how many were born just this week in Kiryas Yoel?
PS take a pill. Neither of us is doing any damage to anything except our keyboards.

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Michael Kelly

posted March 14, 2008 at 11:25 am

Well Dave, there is one thing I know for certain and that is that you have been given the gift of “speaking in tongues”: Tongue-in-Cheek for sure and some English, though not quite yet intelligently. Assuming that you can grasp what you read here, is it possible for you to write two versions of your comments? Tongue-in-Cheek, first is okay, but followed with a second version in good English grammer so that us folk that cannot comprehend what you’re saying in TIC are able to grasp your meaning.
As for Rabbi Waxman’s article, he’s right of course. There are now millions of domains on the Internet that “Al Gore invented” and an awful “lot of lies” and every other Sin and Sen that one can conjure. Mmmm, IMHO Cyberspace in the newest episode of “Star Wars” but without its original director Steven Spielberg. Yes, there is a war going on out there and it’s the “Conspiracy Theorists” (the Haters and Hate-Groups aka “Bad Folk”) versus the “Cooperation Realists” (the Lovers and Love-Groups aka “Good Folk”). Disinformation (mostly lies mixed with a little truth for credibility) is the “Force” of the “Bad Folk”; and “Information” (mostly Truth mixed with Hope and Speculation) is the “Force” of the “Good Folk”. Only time will tell which side of the “Force” will win in the “Battle of Good and Bad”. If the Prophet and Seer Daniel was correct (Chapter 2, verses 44-45), and I am not suggesting that he wasn’t, the “Good Folk” shall prevail and conquer when at last G-d intervenes directly on our behalf.

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laura mushkat

posted March 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm

The internet is the best place for hate. this way you can vent and leave human beings who are normal alone and exhaust yourself that way. Better then taking a bat and going after what or who it is you want to hurt.

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