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Google ‘harbouring racists’

Posted by LA ARGENTINIDAD ...AL PALO en octubre 31, 2006

Online vigilante Brian Stokes at work.

Racist blogs targeting minority groups in Australia are springing up on the web, but Google’s Blogger, the service some are hosted on, refuses to take them offline, says an anti racism lobby group.

“Blogger is absolutely insensitive to complaints about racist and neo-Nazi content,” said Brian Stokes, co-founder of FightDemBack!, a group that monitors the activities of racists, fascists and other such offenders operating in Australia and New Zealand.

Blogger, owned by Google, enables anyone to create a blog or online journal, and publish their thoughts online using internet space provided by Blogger.

Mr Stokes said his group had reported numerous discriminatory Blogger journals to Google, both through the “flag” button that appears on each blog and through an email form that Mr Stokes said was “buried in their site, very hard to find”.

Mr Stokes said his appeals had fallen on deaf ears at Google.

“Most other outfits [that provide free web space] like Angelfire and Tripod actually do respond,” he said.

“We have probably knocked about 25 or 30 Nazi, white supremacist, racist in general websites off the web, in the two and a bit years [since the group founded],” he said.

He refers specifically to two Blogger journals that Google has refused to remove from the web – Patriot Alliance Downunder and Red Watch NZ.

“Patriot Alliance Downunder comprises a number of patriots and nationalists alike from New Zealand and Australia,” its blog reads.

“We … hope to preserve and defend our heritage, culture, customs, traditions, morals, and values, as well as our blood itself, against hostile alien elements that are destructive to who we are and we as a race hold dear.”

The blog posts photographs and full names of anti-racism activists from Australia and New Zealand, in effect making this information available to those who wish to do these activists physical harm.

It also publicly endorses and links to the recent racist online board game based on last year’s Cronulla riots, but it denies that it’s a “hate” group.

Mr Stokes said that the owner of the Patriot Alliance Downunder blog was Ben Weerheym, convicted for being a getaway driver in a racist graffiti attack by neo-Nazi group Australian Nationalist Movement.

Patriot Alliance Downunder does not list Weerheym as the owner of the blog, but he has signed certain postings with his name.

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