On September 20, 2020, Taliban militants ambushed a security checkpoint in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. The attack killed at least 24 members of the Afghan security forces.
Over the past week, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) has identified neo-Nazi and antisemitic extremist content on major social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook-owned Instagram, and Twitter, which corresponds to a reported 80 percent increase in antisemitic acts in the last month across the United States. On YouTube, CEP located a neo-Nazi podcast that explicitly endorsed violence and urged listeners to be “active participants in the destruction of society” and to “instill a little terror wherever you go.” On Instagram several accounts were found that advocated for violence against Jews and praised neo-Nazism. On Twitter two accounts were located that promote the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement’s (NRM) podcasts.
“Antisemitism and neo-Nazism’s continued appearance on mainstream social media platforms is unacceptable, especially given the recent worldwide uptick in hate crimes, bigotry, and intolerance. YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter each need to examine why this extremist content was allowed to be uploaded, shared, and in some cases viewed hundreds of times—and why some was permitted to remain online even after being reported by CEP,” said CEP Executive Director David Ibsen. “Clearly, the presence of extremist and terrorist material is not limited to small platforms, as Big Tech may want us to believe.”
A neo-Nazi podcast, created and hosted by the administrator of a notorious accelerationist Telegram channel, was uploaded to YouTube on May 23 as a private video, requiring approval to view from the uploader. Both the YouTube link and a separate mp3 file on Telegram were shared by at least 15 different neo-Nazi and white supremacist Telegram channels. The podcast explicitly endorses violence. In the most recent episode, one of the hosts urged listeners to be “active participants in the destruction of society” and to “instill a little terror wherever you go.” One of the podcasters encouraged listeners to be wary of a forced government famine to coerce people to get the COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for food. The same individual declared that the vaccine would lead to death or a change in one’s genome.
CEP researchers located several antisemitic and neo-Nazi accounts on Instagram, including posts encouraging violence. One account, which used a neo-Nazi accelerationist slogan in its profile, posted a video on May 26 urging violence against Jews and linking to a neo-Nazi Telegram account. The video was viewed over 125 times in 24 hours. The video was removed by Instagram after it was reported, but the profile was not removed. Another account, with over 575 followers, remained online after it was reported for posting multiple antisemitic memes and a segment of the George Floyd death video. Other pages included a profile with a Nazi swastika as its user icon and an account praising a neo-Nazi slogan in the profile description. CEP also located an account that posted Atomwaffen Division propaganda in December 2020 and used an image taken from the group’s propaganda as its profile photo. The swastika account was removed by Instagram shortly after it was located, the final two accounts were removed by Instagram after CEP reported them.
CEP located two accounts promoting the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement’s (NRM) podcasts on Twitter. A primary account for the online radio station joined the platform in March 2019 and had over 300 followers on May 27. The account tweeted out links to podcasts and blog posts. In May 2021, content included an interview with the American Rob Rundo, a former leader of the neo-Nazi Rise Above Movement, updates on NRM activities, and an antisemitic blog post. With over 170 followers, the second account was created in September 2020, advertised a music podcast on the NRM website, and included interviews with individuals and bands affiliated with the national socialist black metal (NSBM) scene. Neither account was removed by Twitter after it was reported by CEP.
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