Da “The Economist” (print edition) del 24 luglio 2008:
From the earliest days of the internet the new medium became a forum for nationalist spats that were sometimes relatively innocent by today’s standards. People sparred over whether Freddie Mercury, a rock singer, was Iranian, Parsi or Azeri; whether the Sea of Japan should be called the East Sea or the East Sea of Korea; and whether Israel could call hummus part of its cuisine. Sometimes such arguments moved to Wikipedia, a user-generated reference service, whose elaborate moderation rules put a limit to acrimony.
But e-arguments also led to hacking wars. Nobody is surprised to hear of Chinese assaults on American sites that promote the Tibetan cause; or of hacking contests between Serbs and Albanians, or Turks and Armenians. A darker development is the abuse of blogs, social networks, maps and video-sharing sites that make it easy to publish incendiary material and form hate groups. A study published in May by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a Jewish human-rights group, found a 30% increase last year in the number of sites that foment hatred and violence; the total was around 8,000.
Social networks are particularly useful for self-organised nationalist communities that are decentralised and lack a clear structure. On Facebook alone one can join groups like “Belgium Doesn’t Exist”, “Abkhazia is not Georgia”, “Kosovo is Serbia” or “I Hate Pakistan”. Not all the news is bad; there are also groups for friendship between Greeks and Turks, or Israelis and Palestinians. But at the other extreme are niche networks, less well-known than Facebook, that unite the sort of extremists whose activities are restricted by many governments but hard to regulate when they go global. Podblanc, a sort of alternative YouTube for “white interests, white culture and white politics” offers plenty of material to keep a racist amused.
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