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    SPLC Tag

    While you were focused on the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh hearings, and other media firestorms, a coalition of left-wing activist groups, including some that actively attack conservatives, has moved forward with efforts to get big tech companies to censor online speech. The problem of big tech companies acting as speech gatekeepers has been a focus here for a long time. What starts with calls to censor "Nazis"and "White Supremacists" inevitably morphs into broader attempts to censor anyone who is right of center or deemed to have expressed politically incorrect views.

    George Clooney makes some reporters swoon, and it has little to do with his handsome mug. The Oscar winner is one of the industry's more thoughtful stars, sharing his progressive views in a way his peers can't often match. He's hobnobbed with President Barack Obama, testified before Congress and traveled the globe to research causes near and dear to his heart. 

    This post originally was published by The Gatestone Institute, under the title What Happened to the ADL? Cross-posted with permission. --------------- In the months leading up to the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, a former director of the World Jewish Congress decried the direction in which the new head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was taking the international human rights group. In a series of columns, Isi Leibler -- a prominent Australian Israeli -- blasted ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, for turning the 100-year-old organization, whose mission is to monitor and expose anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, into a platform that "represents an echo chamber of left-wing Democratic politics."

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) SPLC has repeatedly listed a great many mainstream, right-leaning, and/or conservative groups and persons as "hate groups."  So indiscriminate are they in their listings that they have been forced to retract "hate group" claims when called upon to provide evidence or to defend its categorization. The SPLC has been making news lately in relation to its being touted as an "authority" on "hate groups."  SPLC lists are being used not only by unbalanced people who believe the lists and then go on a rampage but as a means of internet censorship and even massive, unscrupulous fundraising in the wake of Charlottesville. In a 2007 interview, a former SPLC spokesman proudly boasted that the goal of SPLC, its "aim in life," is to "destroy these groups, completely destroy them."

    I've been covering the manipulative "hate" lists put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center for almost eight years, long before it was fashionable to do so. I took an interest in it because as a past contributor to SPLC, I was deeply offended by the use of these lists to target political opponents who posed no threat of violence. SPLC's tactics are the exact opposite of what I was taught, that the best anecdote to offensive speech is more speech, not less.

    This was a really bad week for freedom of speech and internet freedom. As documented in my post Gathering Storms And Threats to Liberty, corporations that operate the gateways to the internet, such as domain registrars and services such as Cloudfare, have come under pressure and have capitulated to drive the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer from the internet. That pressure is now moving to other organizations based on biased and politicized "hate" lists from groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League. I pointed out the danger to internet freedom:

    I have written often, and recently, about the corrosive effect of the Southern Poverty Law Center's highly-politicized "hate" and "extremist" lists. Politico also recently focused on the problem, which I described in Southern Poverty Law Center “extremist” lists used “to silence speech and speakers”, including this quote from the Politico article: