Monday, September 4, 2017

Russia: American neo-Nazis are flocking to Russian social media

Via VICE (h/t glykosymoritis):

In the uproar following the violence in Charlottesville earlier this month, one of America’s leading neo-Nazi websites, The Daily Stormer, was all but chased off the internet, thwarted even by Russian authorities within hours of its attempt to register a new .ru domain.

But Moscow’s swift move came with a striking irony: American and European right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis have in recent years flocked to Russia’s biggest social network site, VK.

VK, Russia’s most-trafficked website, has emerged as a social media hub for high-profile American far-right groups like the National Socialist Movement — which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called “notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric” — despite the fact that pro-Nazi propaganda is illegal in Russia.

“VK is like Facebook with never having to say you’re sorry,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which combats anti-Semitism. “It’s the kind of place where extremists, backers of terrorism, haters, and bigots migrate when they find that their messages can no longer be easily placed on Facebook and other social sites.”


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