Taking North American White Supremacist Groups Seriously: The Scope and the Challenge of Hate Speech on the Internet


This article aims to address two questions: how does hate speech manifest on North American white supremacist websites; and is there a connection between online hate speech and hate crime? Firstly, hate speech is defined and the research methodology upon which the article is based is explained. The ways that ‘hate’ groups utilise the Internet and their purposes in doing so are then analysed, with the content and the functions of their websites as well as their agenda examined. Finally, the article explores the connection between hate speech and hate crime. I argue that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that speech can and does inspire crime. The article is based in the main on primary sources: a study of many ‘hate’ websites; and interviews and discussions with experts in the field.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2018-06-01
Pages:38 to 57
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How to Cite
Cohen-Almagor, R. (2018) “Taking North American White Supremacist Groups Seriously: The Scope and the Challenge of Hate Speech on the Internet”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 7(2), pp. 38-57. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v7i2.517.

Author Biography

University of Hull
 United Kingdom

Raphael Cohen-Almagor is an educator, researcher, peacenik and human rights activist.  He received his DPhil in political theory from Oxford University and presently is a Professor of Politics and Founding Director of the Middle East Study Group at The University of Hull. He is the author of many books, including Speech, Media and Ethics (2005), The Scope of Tolerance (2006), Voyages (poetry, Hebrew 2007), and Confronting the Internet's Dark Side (2015). Web: http://beta.www.hull.ac.uk/Faculties/staff-profiles/Raphael-Cohen-Almagor.aspx

. Blog: http://almagor.blogspot.com Twitter: @almagor35