What Is Hate?

  • June 30, 2001

In 2001, the ADL wrote a report introducing the many types of hate that exist on the Web.  Read the report, What is Hate? (PDF)


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is very concerned about the increase of anti-Semitic and racist material on the Internet. Children who explore the Internet, whether visiting Web sites, reading E-mail messages, or conversing in chat rooms, run the risk of encountering hate propaganda. Many hate groups specifically target the young, and hateful messages can deeply influence and affect our children.

Practically and legally, combating online extremism is enormously difficult. The First Amendment's protection of free speech shields most extremist propaganda, and Internet Service Providers, the private companies that host most extremist sites, may freely choose whether to house these sites or not. When providers choose not to host hateful sites, these sites migrate easily to the computers of services without such restrictions. Furthermore, the size of the Web, which contains hundreds of millions of distinct pages, complicates efforts to identify extremist material. Hundreds if not thousands of Web pages, some of which are not listed by search engines, contain bomb-making formulas.