Bomb at Cincinnati Mosque

December 21, 2005 at 9:49 pm | Posted in Hating Hate | Leave a comment

This is what happens when hate speech gets out of control. People start acting on the words and ideas, and bombs go off.

It it critical that we impress up on Google, eBay and the others that we won’t accept their support for these organizations!

We will either cut off the hatred at its source, by draining the swamp of support that large companies provide to hate speech, or we will have continue our march towards being a police state (also, here and here) in order to protect the safety of all of our citizens.

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Bravo OfficeMax

December 17, 2005 at 8:18 am | Posted in Taking Action | 1 Comment

I say Bravo OfficeMax because they apparently have some principles, as indicated by the indignation over at JihadWatch. For those who care not to go there, and who can blame you, they apparently refused to print some business cards that advertised the type of hate sites we’re talking about here, including JihadWatch.

Course, I really don’t know. OfficeMax didn’t actually give a reason. I am judging completely by the reaction of the folks at JW. It is entirely possible, as some there point out, that they turned down the job because they thought it was pro-Islam, or pro-Violent Jihad, or they didn’t like the color of the paper. But, for now, lets assume that the JW indignation is on the money and again applaud OfficeMax for doing what none of the “Don’t Be Evil” companies of the internet are willing to do.

In the end, however, I suspect we’ll learn that they turned it down for other reasons. But we’ll celebrate while we can 🙂

Riots Down Under

December 13, 2005 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Hating Hate | 6 Comments

In case you haven’t been following it, there have been riots in Australia. My understanding: It started when a couple of members of a Lebanese gang attacked some lifeguards who asked them to stop playing soccer. A day or two thereafter, 5000 or so largely “neo-Nazi’s” gathered and started rioting, attacking anyone and anything that “looked Middle Eastern”. There have been, I understand, counter riots by Australians “who look Middle Eastern”. (BTW, the descriptions are from the news articles, not my personal take.)

The riots are a tragedy that exposes the level of underground hatred and bigotry within some societies. The societies themselves are, of course, not built on hatred. But fringe groups exist everywhere.

The interesting point for our blog is the role of technology. From the CNN article:

” Police: Text-messages fan violence

The rampage will compound shock expressed Monday at Sunday’s rioting, which police said was organized by mobile phone text messages and fanned by Neo Nazi groups.”

This is why our mission on this blog is so critically important. There are consequences of online and technologically supported hatred. The cell phone companies (“the platform”) are not responsible for the SMS messages that are sent on their platform – but they sure would be responsible if, like Google and Amazon, they directly profited from the expression of the hatred contained in the messages, and if, again like Google and Amazon, they even paid money to the groups.

SMS has not really caught on in the US yet. But blogs supported by Fortune 500 companies have the potential to be our wind on hatred-fueled fire. Everyone can say what they like, but we need to demand that our dollars, as shareholders and consumers, do not support these anti-social messages.

Amazon doesn’t care

December 12, 2005 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Hypocracy unmasked, Taking Action | Leave a comment

Thanks to Richard for passing this along:

“Greetings from Amazon.com Associates.

As my colleague has previously state, we can appreciate your
position with regard to the participation of www.jihadwatch.org in
the Amazon.com Associates Program. As previously mentioned,
Amazon.com does not take a position on the social or political
agenda of any of our Associates. In fact, our Associates include
prominent web sites representing all sides of the political and
social spectrum.

Thank you for choosing the Associates Program.”

So, I guess having an Operating Agreement doesn’t mean you should enforce it, so long as it is generating revenue for you?

I expect (although hope not to receive) a similar response to Islamic Paths – the people who justify suicide bombing. Will post it when it arrives…

Irony at SixApart

December 12, 2005 at 8:19 am | Posted in Hypocracy unmasked | Leave a comment

Nick Carr writes about the latest “Can’t we all get along” speech by Mena at SixApart.

Her speech is ironic, to say the least, because SixApart regularly allows racist, hate mongering groups to use their platform (including their blogging software and hosting services), in explicit violation of their terms of use. Jihadwatch, already noted in earlier posts, is one.

I have said in the past that they have responded better than most, promising to at least investigate. This is still true. But given Mena’s comments, you would expect more proactive and diligent action, no?

Ironic. Or, maybe hypocritical is a better word?

PajamasMedia founded on hate

December 12, 2005 at 8:02 am | Posted in Hating Hate, Taking Action | 1 Comment

LittleGreenFootballs is a right-wing blog that is also one of the most hate filled locations on the internet. The targets here, like in Jihadwatch, are Muslims. These guys are a member of PajamasMedia. Actually, the guy who runs LGF is a founder… And, upon a little more investigation, it appears that JihadWatch’s site was designed by LGF. Incestuous bunch, these hate sites…

LGF is supported by Amazon and Paypal (via their fundraising systems). And, PajamasMedia, their mothership, is looking for advertisers! Anyone who does advertise with them should be told in no uncertain terms that they are supporting hatred.

Quotes from the site include:

“I’ve been fond of transfer of these subhuman sarcens for a while. Perhaps something more like targetted genocide at the religious muslims will become necesary.”

“Elimination [of Palestinians] is the only solution; I know that sounds bad, but that’s the way it is. Forced sterilization, and full occupation to keep them under control until the problem solves itself in about 50 years.”

Ethnic cleansing? Subhuman? Genocide? Wow… Amazon and Paypal must feel great supporting this stuff. To say nothing of the Republican party [I say this even though I have never in my life, ever voted Democratic. That might change as a result of this…]

See more at http://www.oliverwillis.com/2005/07/14/why-is-the-republican-party-promoting-a-hate-site

Does Microsoft Support Hate?

December 9, 2005 at 6:36 am | Posted in Hating Hate | Leave a comment

Someone said to me today, in reference to this blog: isn’t this like Windows?

Their point was that these companies, Google, Amazon, etc, are providing infrastructure, just like Microsoft provides infrastructure for most of the PCs out there. If someone uses a PC to commit a crime, Microsoft isn’t responsible. More relevant to here, if someone uses MS Word and Windows to write hateful articles, Microsoft isn’t responsible. So why should other “infrastructure” providers be held responsible?

The answer is that Google, Yahoo, MSN are not Windows. They are not providing a neutral, multi-purpose service. They are actually providing REVENUE to people who conduct hate campaigns. They are associating their advertisers and their shareholders with this hate content. And they are implicitly endorsing this hate speech by providing a funding source.

Amazon is even more different. It is using hate speech to generate leads for itself, not third parties. So they are associating their brand with hate speech, and they are, again, directly funding hate speech – not merely funneling money like the search/advertising companies.
It is a weak argument, in my opinion, for Google, MSN, Yahoo, Amazon, etc, to claim that they shouldn’t be held responsible for the speech they choose to associate themselves with. They’re wrong. Just because 200,000 people are Amazon affiliates does not remove Amazon’s obligations.

They all have very explicit policies against this – I have quoted some of them in earlier posts. And, they have actually taken action in some cases – when ADVERTISERS complain in Google’s case, when a large number of activists complain in Amazon’s case. If they didn’t think it was wrong, why would they have taken action in any case? They clearly see a problem. They just don’t care. They are lazy. They are afraid of the economic consequences of doing the right thing.

Probably worst of all, they are trying to pull a sleight of hand against the public. They are trying to have it both ways. They want to benefit from the results, but claim to not be responsible for the impact. That is ethically wrong – so much for “Don’t be evil”. It is also a violation of the trust employees, consumers and advertisers have placed in these firms.

We shouldn’t let them say one thing and do another. As it stands today, Google is funding a group that calls for violent suicide attacks. Amazon is funding a group that calls for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the US. And there are many, many more that await discovery.

And all of these companies, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay – are making money for their shareholders on the back of hatred. It is time they stopped.

Google’s response

December 8, 2005 at 2:31 am | Posted in Taking Action | Leave a comment

Here is Google’s response to the complaint in my earlier post:

“Thank you for your feedback regarding the quality of this website. I have
forwarded your finding to our team of specialists for further
investigation. If this website is found to be in violation of any of these
policies, we will take the appropriate action on the account.

We appreciate your help in upholding the quality of AdSense network.”

Assuming this will take a few days – I will monitor the site in question and report back on if/when Google cancels their participation.

Sometimes it’s nice to write about something nice

December 8, 2005 at 1:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Great story about an Afghan immigrant who returned a fortune in lost diamonds to its rightful owner.

How to stop support for hate groups

December 8, 2005 at 1:00 am | Posted in Taking Action | Leave a comment

Internet companies have a perverse economic incentive to not take actions against hate sites. Simply, the sites generate revenue for them, and policing the sites causes both backlash (from the supporters of the hate sites) and overhead (money spent investigating and removing a site).

It is critical that we put an end to this – make these companies more responsible corporate citizens! But that takes action. It takes you, and me, and everyone else, to write these companies, complaining about specific abuses. I am trying to chronicle these abuses on this blog. There are obviously a LOT of sites.

When you find one, let me know – and let me know who the advertisers on the sites are! And, contact the companies themselves to ask them (Politely!) to distance themselves from the company. Here’s where to do:

Google: https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/request.py

Amazon:  associates@amazon.com

PayPal:  https://www.paypal.com/wf/f=pps_prohib

More to come…

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