Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred

The internet provides a platform for equal communication of beliefs and opinions by all users. It also offers a medium for the spread of hate-related content targeting various groups. According to data from the GSS, 30% of internet users aged 15 to 24 came across hate content while on the internet, with ethnic and religious minorities the most commonly targeted (Perreault, 2013). The Government of Canada recently announced Canada's Digital Charter, which outlines ten guiding principles under which the public can expect to interact with digital content or platforms (Government of Canada 2019). One of these principles includes being free from hate and violent extremism. The Digital Charter states that Canadians can expect that digital platforms will not foster or disseminate hate, violent extremism or criminal content.

Over the last five years, the proportion of police-reported hate crime incidents that were also recorded by police as cybercrimes has been fairly stable, ranging from 4.1% of all hate crime incidents in 2014 to 5.1% in 2018 (Table 7). The year-over-year increases are primarily due to more incidents of uttering threats, public incitement of hatred and criminal harassment.

Of the 456 police-reported hate crimes that were also recorded by police as cybercrimes between 2010 and 2018,Note Note these most commonly targeted the Muslim population (17%), the Jewish population (13%), sexual orientation (13%) and the Black population (10%). Over the same nine year period, uttering threats (37%) was by far the most common type of hate-motivated cybercrime, followed by public incitement of hatred (18%), criminal harassment (14%), and indecent or harassing communications (13%). In comparison, these offences accounted for a much smaller proportion of non-cyber hate crimes. Of all the hate-motivated offences of uttering threats, 12% were reported as cybercrimes.

Over half (51%) of cyber hate incidents of uttering threats were cleared by charge or cleared otherwise by police, a solve-rate that is slightly lower than non-cyber hate incidents of uttering threats (53%).

Radicals use the most popular platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, as well as a constellation of fringe forums, including ultra-libertarian platforms with lax content moderation policies such as Gab and purpose-built extremist centers such as Iron March and Fascist Forge. According to the Canadian Institute for Strategic Dialogue, which analyzed 88 accounts on the neo-Nazi Iron March forum, Canadians rank third among account holders after the United States and Britain. The main discourse of discussion on these forums is about "Muslim" and "immigrant" threats. Anti-Muslim positions and Islamophobia and migrantrophobia have become a marker for far-right parties and movements and a tool for many far-right movements and parties to mobilize voters, activists and sympathizers. But it must be recognized that these positions are not limited to the far-right camp. The far right in Canada emphasizes two key issues: alternative views on immigration and the integration of immigrants into Canadian society.

The main driving force behind these far-right groups is the de-democratization of criticism of Muslim immigration in Canada as a promotion to a more general critique of immigration, multiculturalism and the Liberal Party of Canada. Some far-right respondents refuse to target Muslim immigrants, refugees and citizens on the grounds that Muslim representatives would use these characteristics to gain more support from traditional political elites. The majority of far-right interviewees argue that "Muslim immigration is only 'the tip of the iceberg,' and all forms of immigration pose a serious danger to society as a whole. From this perspective, Islam is only a "symptom" and immigration a "real disease. Indeed, several respondents advocated that Canada maintain strong borders without immigration."

On the other hand, Islamist hate activists are no less active and dangerous. Canadian investigators have found that all 30 people prosecuted for involvement in terrorist acts between 2000 and 2020 were inspired by the appeals and propaganda of ISIS and similar Islamist organizations. The propaganda especially intensified after Muhammad al-Adnani, in charge of ISIS's "external operations," called in 2014 for all Muslims to launch indiscriminate attacks in the West by any means at their disposal.

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