On Tuesday, October 10th, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a press release announcing that Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and other leading technology companies would be joining them to establish a Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab to counter the growing amount of hate speech online. Part of the statement reads:
“For all its promise, the Internet unfortunately has become a space where perpetrators of hate reach new recruits, harass and intimidate minorities, and spew hateful ideologies,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “As some of the most popular platforms, these companies have an added responsibility to do everything within their power to stop hate from flourishing on their watch. ADL has worked in partnership with leading technology companies for many years, and we look forward to tackling this pressing challenge together.
The initiative will be managed by ADL’s Center for Technology and Society in Silicon Valley, which leads cyberhate issues and advocacy for the League.”
This comes just a few months after announcing they had become a select contributing member of YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program. So in addition to working with Youtube to censor content they deem “extremist”, they are now formalizing a similar partnership with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter.
— ADL (@ADL_National) August 1, 2017
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 10, 2017
This announcement is especially concerning considering the ADL’s recent profile on the Alt-Lite and Alt-Right that lumped in controversial conservative personalities with actual neo-nazis and white supremacists and Youtube’s recent massive demonetization and censorship campaign. As a response to these issues, many prominent conservative personalities took to Twitter and YouTube to criticize the ADL’s hypocrisy and point out how they broadly apply terms like “extremist”, “racist”, “bigot”, etc. to people who simply advocate for conservative political positions. So far, much of the focus has been on the people and organizations that the ADL has labeled as extremists. I want to instead highlight a few violent organizations and individuals that they have not reported on.
We recently reported on the far left militia group, Redneck Revolt. They are a self described “above ground militant formation” founded in June of 2016 that claims to have 30+ vetted branches nationwide. Since their inception, Redneck Revolt has been very busy recruiting at gun shows and community events, advocating for class war, contributing to the far left anarchist website It’s Going Down, and conducting armed anti-Trump demonstrations. But what’s most alarming are the resources they provide on their website. They promote several PDFs that endorse “armed struggle” and even offer a 36 page “Mini-Manual Of The Urban Guerrilla” (bottom right of resource page) which pictures left-wing militants using RPGs and outlines tactics for guerrilla warfare including sections on “sabotage”, “kidnapping”, “executions”, “armed propaganda”, and “terrorism”.
Has Redneck Revolt been labeled an extremist organization by the ADL? Has a lengthy profile on their members been circulated through legacy media? Should they worry their YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter content will be removed? Well, according to the ADL, the answer is no.
Red Guards Austin
Red Guards Austin is an autonomous Marxist-Leninist-Maoist militia group based in Austin, TX. Their website contains multiple reports on their confrontational and often armed demonstrations:
They also openly advocate for violent revolution against capitalism:
“we must seriously take up the task not only of self-defense on the personal and community level, but we must also struggle to unite all genuine antifascists behind the necessity of revolution. Revolution means the long fight for communism and nothing less.”
I’ll ask the same questions. Has this organization been labeled an extremist hate group by the ADL? Has a lengthy profile on their members been circulated through legacy media? Should they worry their YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter content will be removed? The answer again is a resounding no.
Emanuel Kidega Samson, The Antioch Church Shooter
On Sunday, September 24th, Emanuel Kidega Samson carried out a premeditated terror attack against churchgoers at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. He shot 7 people resulting in the death of 39 yr. old Melanie Smith and was ultimately stopped and detained by an armed usher until police arrived. It was later revealed through a note found in his car that this attack was a targeted attack against a white church in order to avenge the terror attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church carried out by Dylann Storm Roof on June 17th, 2015.
Both of these tragic events were racially motivated. Both targeted places of worship. Both were undeniable acts of terrorism. But while a search for “Dylan Roof” on the ADL website yields 84 results, a search for “Emanuel Kidega Samson” yields 0. Additionally, a search of “Antioch”on ADL’s official Twitter account only yields three results, all of which point out that the ADL has been silent on this particular terrorist attack.
It is unclear what criteria the ADL uses to define “extremism” but considering that they include the numbers “12”, “13”, and “14”, as well as “Pepe the frog memes” in their Online Hate Symbols Database the bar appears to be incredibly low. So why are the extremist organizations and individuals outlined in this article not mentioned by the ADL? How is it that a watchdog organization with hundreds of employees, 29 regional offices, and almost $78m in net assets keeps dropping the ball on combating “hate” and “extremism” that comes from the left? At the time of publication, the ADL had not responded to our request for comment.
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