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Group releases 2004 report on hate Web sites

Group releases 2004 report on hate Web sites

Online hate games that encourage gay bashing, gunning down illegal immigrants at the border, hunting Jews, and shooting blacks are among the thousands of extremist Web sites described in a report released Monday by an international human rights organization. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has been tracking hate Web sites for nine years, describes more than 200 of about 4,000 online hate sites it monitors. The group said it has seen a surge this year in the number of sites that promote terrorist recruitment, urging young people to join "holy wars" and become suicide bombers. The report includes sites that deny the Holocaust, theorize September 11 conspiracies, and glorify al-Qaeda. The hate sites leave nothing out: racism, anti-Semitism, and gay bashing are among the more common. "People need to realize how much hatred there is...and the extraordinary technological advance of people who are spreading these lies," said New York city council speaker Gifford Miller, who attended the news conference where the report was released. The Simon Wiesenthal Center uses the report to help inform parents, teachers, public officials, and law enforcement. The intent is not to interfere with free speech and shut down the sites, said Mark Weitzman, director of the center's Task Force Against Hate. "This is for public awareness," Weitzman said.

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