Date of this Version

12-1-2005

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Preprint:
Norris, G., R. Lincoln, and P. Wilson (2005) "Breeding hate on the internet: exploring Australian hate sites." (under review)
Submitted to the journal Current Issues in Criminal Justice for review.

A small grant for this research was awarded by the Centre of Applied Psychology and Criminology, Bond University.

Abstract

[Excerpt] The recent prosecution of Australian Nationalist Party members for their part in vandalism against religious buildings and immigrant owned businesses, has brought the subject of hate crimes to the political agenda. Increased prison sentences for those found guilty of racial vilification have brought Western Australia into the forefront of opposition to racist dialogue. Such laws however have been in place in other states for some time, with penalties ranging from six months (Victoria, Queensland, and NSW), to three years in South Australia (Martin & Taylor, 2004). Tasmania currently uses the process of civil remedies to counteract such crimes. Under the current proposal Western Australia raises its tariff from the current two-year sentence to 14 years incarceration. While these penalties address the problem of vilification on racial or religious grounds, there is another similar area that has been of concern to legislators for some time. Since 1995 when Don Black, the leader of the US white pride organisation Stormfront posted what is regarded as the first “hate site” (Levin, 2003), it has incited numerous duplications of this theme, and there are several Australian examples of this material. There has also been an equally influential opposition to the removal of such content from the Internet, and recently laws have been applied to the virtual world to mirror the censorship that occurs in the off-line setting.

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