Toronto (June 22, 2020) - Canadian white supremacist groups are proliferating on social media, recruiting new members and spreading their message of hate, according to a new report released by the UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
The report found that “Canadians are highly active on forums associated with white supremacy,” identifying 6,660 right-wing extremist channels, pages, groups and accounts based in Canada across 7 social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The report also revealed that Canadian users of known white supremacist platforms such as 4chan, Iron March and Fascist Forge were unusually productive in their engagement with these sites relative to users in countries such as the US or UK.
“It’s extremely disconcerting to see such stark evidence of the proliferation of white supremacist online activity in Canada,” said Rabbi Meyer H. May, Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “It’s a sad fact that individuals are often radicalized by online hate and morph into violent perpetrators attacking the Jewish community and other minority groups. It is critical for governmental agencies to crack down on the host sites that facilitate on-line hate, because failure to do so will inevitably resultin violence and mayhem."
“This study demonstrates what we have known for some time, which is that white supremacist groups across the country are increasingly using online platforms as their primary tool for indoctrination and recruitment,” said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, FSWC Director of the Campaign Against Antisemitism. “Sadly, Jews remain the number one minority group that is most often the target of hate crimes in Canada. We call upon Canada’s criminal justice system to vigorously prosecute any Canadians engaging in violent, illegal hate speech on any platform whatsoever.”
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue report on Canadian white supremacist activity on the internet was conducted by researchers at Ontario Tech University in partnership with Michigan State University and the University of New Brunswick, and received funding from Public Safety Canada.