New report grades social media sites on how well they shut down hate-related posts

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CHICAGO, Ill. -- The Internet is valuable tool for those trying to spread hate and terror. Young people, who spend hours per day social networking are especially vulnerable. The anti-hate Simon Wiesenthal Center has graded how well social media sites identify and shut down hate and terror-related postings.

Facebook and Twitter get passing grades while Google, YouTube and others are falling behind.

These new findings – out today – come from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2017 digital terrorism and hate report card.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean at the Wiesenthal Center said, "we need to do more to protect our kids. Social media dominates all of our lives."

Governments around the world want social media companies to help identify and fight would-be terrorists.

Just last week, in the deadly assault near British Parliament, there were reports that the attacker used WhatsApp minutes before the deadly rampage.

The Wiesenthal Center is trying to educate parents and teachers on how extremists leverage technologies to promote their agendas.

"There’s a whole subculture of how to transform your household chemicals and be able to deploy – make them into terrorist weapons – IADs, napalm, you know it. All of those are on YouTube," said Cooper.

The Wiesenthal Center is raising concerns about misinformation and fake news – tools, they say, racists and extremists have used for years.

"Martin Luther King’s birthday. Every 9th grader has to write an essay or a paper comes January and you’d be surprised how many young people in the early years of the Internet did their Google search and the first or second choice was put up by white supremacists," said Cooper.

Governor Rauner wants to boost investigation and prosecution of hate crimes in Illinois.

He’s proposing increased penalties for hate crimes, hate crime training for state and local police and online education materials about the Holocaust and genocide.

"We must act. We have a rising tide of violence based upon hate, based upon bigotry, prejudice, based upon race or ethnicity or religion and we can’t do nothing and we can’t only speak against it, we must act against it," said Rauner.


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