Skip to main content

Examples of Racist Material on the Internet

Cyberracism Home
Examples of Racist Material on the Internet

Race Discrimination Unit, HREOC, October 2002


1.1 Websites
1.2 Computer Games
1.3 Racist Music: Publication, Merchandising and Recruitment
1.4 Open Publishing Sites
1.5 Interactive Mediums: Emails, Chat-rooms and Discussion-groups


This paper examines
the problem of racism on the Internet or "cyber-racism". It
illustrates the types of Internet material that are of concern to racial
equality and human rights groups in this country and the international
community. The web addresses or names of the racist sites sampled are
not included so as to avoid inadvertently publicising these groups. The
term 'racial hatred' is used in this paper to describe communication that
is unlawful under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. [1] The term 'racial vilification' is used to denote racially offensive communication
and actions that are prohibited under state or federal law in Australia.
By contrast, terms such as 'racism' and 'racist material' do not indicate
any assessment of the lawfulness or otherwise of the conduct. The terms
'racism' or 'racist' are used to denote an attitude of racial superiority
that may be considered offensive by many people, but which may nevertheless
be lawful in Australia. [2]

The Internet is increasingly
used by racist groups to disseminate racist ideology, as well as to communicate
to, organise and mobilize members and raise finances through the sale
of racist merchandise. According to several theorists, the nature of the
Internet makes it a particularly valuable tool for racist groups because:

  • Racist groups
    do not usually have access to the regular mass media;
  • Racist groups
    are often internationally organised and the Internet is a global communication
  • Internet technology
    is easily used and available at low cost; and
  • Repression of
    racist activities on the Internet is not yet efficient [3]

There are various
forms of racist activity on the Internet. These include websites, computer
games, emails, chat-rooms, discussion groups and music merchandising.
Recent analysis suggests that these different forms of activity play different
roles in the propagation of racism. Websites are generally static mediums
that advertise racist ideology and refer individuals to other racist resources
such as discussion groups. [4] More interactive mediums,
such as email, chat-rooms and discussion groups, create the 'sense of
community' and interrelation [5] that is essential to
ideological persuasion, membership recruitment, and incitement to racist
violence. Music and computer game merchandising also plays an important
role in propagating and reinforcing racist ideology and recruiting new
members into racist groups, particularly for young people. [6] Websites are therefore important tools for the dissemination of racist
ideas. Yet emails, chat-rooms, discussion groups and game and music merchandising,
all of which have traditionally received less attention than websites,
should also be of concern to those wishing to address racism on the Internet.

Examples from each
of these different forms of racist activity are set out below and are
taken, where possible, from Australian created content.

1.1 Websites

The first website
of a racist group was created on the Internet in 1995. [7] While it is clear that there has been an increase in the number of racist
sites on the Internet, it is difficult to estimate exact numbers. The
rapidly changing nature of Internet content makes such estimates difficult,
as does the changing configuration of racist groups [8] and the variation in the definitions used. [9] Estimates
of the number of racist websites have ranged from 600 sites or fewer [10] to more than 2,000 sites. [11]

In many respects,
the actual number of sites is less important than their impact. The material
posted on such sites has the capacity to disseminate degrading notions
of racial inferiority and cause offence, humiliation and social division.
Websites can also facilitate recruitment into racist groups and assist
in financing their activities. For these reasons, the emergence of cyber-racism
has prompted concern by the United Nations and other racial equality agencies
in recent years. [12]

Examples of text
and images from websites created by individuals or groups within Australia

The following text
and images are taken from sites created by Australians, so they illustrate
the domestic relevance of the problem of cyber-racism. [13] In 2002 there were approximately 25 Australian-created racist websites
on the Internet. [14] The examples below illustrate
the content of 6 of these.


is a world run by the Zionist Jewish Influence and Race Tainting Paedophiles that are only here to rape our heritage
and destroy the qualities that make us White People great…"

"We are
rarely informed that the Aborigines were a Cannibalistic peoples who were saved from extinction by Captain Cook, as he brought
some variety to their diet…"

"If we
do not stand now and perform our god given duty to keep OUR country clean of all the Blacks, Jews and Yellow scum from Asia, WE are just as bad as the enemy, if not worse. We are trading
our race for that of an inferior form of trash.



(Original emphasis)


at the bizarre form of transvestitism that (non Muslim) Arab Women
practice. No amount of 'big hair', tight skirts, pancake makeup
and electrolysis can conceal the fact that they are not attractive
Women. They end up looking like cheap drag queens, a parody of Woman.
I personally prefer a Woman with less facial hair than myself! The
Birka, or full Arab headdress has far less to do with Muslim female
modesty than it has to do with the embarrassment of the Muslim Arab
male at his wife's ugliness…. ."

have little or no knowledge of personal hygiene products such as
deodorant or even soap… nothing has ever turned my stomach
like the fetid stench of unwashed wogs!"

second or third face is Asian and their slitted almond eyes bore
straight through you. Through the genetic window of their black
eyes you can see the brutal and pitiless Mongol hordes from another
time and place lurking just below the surface. It is indeed a thin
veneer of 'civilization' that holds this yellow monster within,
but make no mistake, like the kraken of old it will awake when the
time is right."

This same site
contains the following anti-Semitic image:

Anti-Semitic Image. Caption: Boy, have you seen some of the filthy, twisted garbage those drug-addled Jew faggots in Hollywood have been producing lately? Where will it end?


Despite claiming
not to advocate violence against other races, one site contains
offensive images and cartoons that can be downloaded, including
the following:

Cartoon - Car carrying KKK members with Just Married sign on bumper. Two black figures trail behind the car.Cartoon - Shark with Star of David on it chasing school of smaller fish. Caption: Jews - Just when you thought it was safe to forget the holocaust.


Several of
these sites also have Guestbooks where visitors to the site can
post comments. The following is an example of one vilificatory posting:

our COUNTRY STINK…." (expletives edited)


purity is also another principal concern of many sites. For example,
the following image can be found on one site:

Cartoon - Man kneeling down . Gun is pointed at his head. Caption: Attention... All whiggers and mixers... After the "Day of Reckoning" Race Traitors will be the first to go.

same site promotes white supremacy and is strongly opposed to immigration,
as illustrated by the following publication:




One page, entitled
"Politically Incorrect Humour", contains the following:

Coon (c-oo-n) n. Nigger (nig-er) n. Abo (a-bb-o) n. Boong (b-OO-ng)
An Australian anthropoid scrub ape of the primate family Austropongidae
(superfamily cercopithecoidea). Escaping from Africa in prehistory,
these wild creatures now roam freely, while destroying the economic
and social infrastructures of Australia and various other nations.
These flamboyant sub-humans love to consume large quantities of
greasy fried chicken, inhale petroleum gasoline and listen to fellow
apes "sing" rhymes over deaf beats. One can find these
lazy sub-humans infesting areas of the world called urban slums."

"How do
you get a coon out of a tree?
Cut the rope."

"How do
you make a dead coon float?
Take your foot off its head and let it rise to the surface."

is the correct way to stare at a coon?
Down a gun barrel."

the difference between a Jew and a pizza?
Pizzas don't scream when you put them in the oven."

It is important to
emphasise that these sites have been created by people in Australia.
The issue of whether these sites do, in fact, breach the Racial Discrimination
is properly a matter of formal investigation and/or judicial determination.

There are, of course,
many more racist sites on the Internet that are created by individuals
or groups from countries other than Australia. In many cases the information
on the sites created outside of Australia is even more extreme than that
contained on sites created locally. This is particularly the case for
sites created in America, where the First Amendment protects freedom of
speech to the extent that racial vilification is lawful. Furthermore,
text and images from sites created off-shore (and the racist ideology
that attends them) is often 'copied' by many local site creators. Sites
created off-shore are then a serious problem for Australia, not only with
respect to the extremity of their racist content, but also because of
their direct effect in disseminating racist ideology. Off-shore sites
also present unique problems with respect to regulation which is a recurring
issue for Internet regulators and industry.

Recent analysis suggests
that websites act like 'brochures' for racist ideology, and as 'portals'
providing links to an array of merchandise or more interactive forums
such as discussion groups. [15] As a static, non-interactive
medium, websites cannot offer the type of interaction and interrelation
that is necessary to social movement commitment and mobilization. Consequently,
it seems that websites are less directly important than originally
thought in the recruitment of uninitiated people into extremist groups. [16] Nevertheless, the referral role of websites plays
a particularly important indirect role in sustaining and propagating
racist ideology and, ultimately, in incitements to racial violence. Furthermore,
it does not diminish the offensiveness nor, potentially, the unlawful
nature, of the ideas published on them.

1.2 Computer Games

Computer games are
another form of racial vilification that is emerging through the Internet.
These include racist computer games with titles such as Ethnic Cleansing, Concentration Camp, Nigger Hunt and Shoot the Blacks.
These games are marketed and sold via the Internet, and segments of them
can be downloaded and sampled by Internet users. Currently, there are
approximately 20 racist computer games advertised or distributed via the
Internet, most of which are marketed by American racist sites.

One of the more sophisticated
CD-ROM computer games currently available on-line is the game called Ethnic
. The game, principally advertised by an on-line white power
music distributor, was released in 2002 on Martin Luther King Day. [17] The object of the game is to kill "sub-humans", namely Negros
and Latinos, and their Jewish "masters". It has been observed
that games such as these turn racially motivated violence into "entertainment". [18]

The promotional material
for the computer game Ethnic Cleansing states:

Run through the
ghetto blasting away various blacks and spics in an attempt to gain
entrance to the subway system...where the jews have hidden to avoid
the carnage. Then if your lucky you can blow away jews as they scream
"Oy Vey!", on your way to their command center.

The player can choose
to have their character dress in KKK robes or as a Skinhead during the
game. Various white-power symbols can be seen throughout the game and
it is played to a white power music soundtrack.

The site contains
the following promotional picture of a black person who has been shot:

Graphic: promotional picture of a murdered black person

The same group that
produced Ethnic Cleansing has stated it will release a new game
based upon The Turner Diaries by William Pierce. [19] The Turner Diaries is widely cited by racist groups and it portrays
a world wide race war involving the destruction of all non-Whites and
Jews by white Aryans through the use of nuclear, chemical and biological

This form of racial
vilification has important implications not only for human rights agencies.
The issue is also relevant to Internet content regulators in establishing
acceptable standards for computer game content and then classifying Internet
content accordingly. The advertisement of these games may also constitute
the marketing and sale of unlawful material in Australia.

1.3 Racist Music: Publication,
Merchandising and Recruitment

Racist ideologies
and ideas are also disseminated through music and particularly the lyrics
of neo-Nazis bands which produce music variously called Hatecore, Oi!,
Volk Music, White Power Rock, and the like. [20] The
dominant themes of this genre of music are white supremacy, vilification
of Jews, race war, violence and (since the 1990s) "Odinist"
religious themes. [21] Internet marketing of racist
music has provided a means by which potentially unlawful material is sold
and distributed in Australia.

Racist music is principally
derived from the far-right skinhead movement and, through the Internet,
this music has become "perhaps the most important tool of the international
neo-Nazi movement to gain revenue and new recruits." [22] The distribution of rock hate music via the Internet has come to prominence
since the establishment in 1999 of a highly successful US on-line music
distribution company. This company is owned by an American neo-Nazi group.
It is thought to have a turn-over of more than US$1 million per annum
and markets more than 250 CD titles. [23]

Examples of racist
music include the album Racially Motivated Violence which contains
songs entitled "Still Just a Nigger", "Race Mixing is Treason",
"Mud Man" and "Islam (Religion of Whores)". Another
of the band's albums is titled "Too White For You" and the lyrics
from the song "Racially Debased" on this album include the following:

The mud brown
child that's been given birth
The beating of your life is what it is worth…

My hands are
around your neck
Your error is mine to correct
The air slowly dwindles away
Your defiled body, on the ground it lays.

These and other racist
lyrics are accessible on the Internet in written form or through audio

Internet marketing
of racist music is important as this music is generally not available
in record stores in Australia. [24] Therefore, the Internet
provides a distribution avenue not previously available to Australian
citizens. Moreover, some of the lyrics of hatecore music may breach the
provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act. Consequently, the
Internet has become a means by which potentially unlawful material is
sold and distributed in Australia.

Profits from the
sale of music CDs are one means by which racist groups are able to finance
their operations and publications.

Racist music is also
thought to be important in the recruitment of new members into racist
groups. Several extremist groups have articulated the potential of music
as a recruitment and ideological propagation tool. David Goldman, who
established the well-known hate monitoring website "HateWatch", [25] has explained this potential in the following way:

Once you start
listening, buying CDs, maybe it's time to take that next step and
go to one of the concerts. That's where the next step, actual recruitment,
takes place. [26]

Accordingly, hatecore
music on the Internet raises important issues regarding the dissemination
of racially offensive material, the distribution of potentially unlawful
material in Australia, the financing of racist groups and the recruitment
of new members into these groups.

Internet radio stations
that specialise in racist issues are also an emerging problem, as are
audio downloads from the Internet that contain racist ideology. [27]

1.4 Open Publishing Sites

Open publishing sites
have also been reported to contain racist material that may be unlawful.
Open publishing is a concept strongly grounded in the ideology of free
speech, in that through the open publishing media site, the public is
able to contribute news stories and see these instantly appear on the
web. These stories "are filtered as little as possible to help the
readers find the stories they want…" [28]

Some open publishing
sites are alleged to have published racially vilificatory material which
was contributed by members of the public, including comments such as "the
Jewish culture is about thievery and back-stabbing evilness". [29]

1.5 Interactive Mediums: Emails,
Chat-rooms and Discussion-groups

The adoption of racist
ideology by an individual involves attitudinal, and even behavioural change,
and such adjustments are most effectively fostered by a 'sense of community'
and interaction. As has been noted "whilst a sense of community is
very difficult to engender on static Web sites, it is natural to the lively
exchanges that typify Net discussion groups." [30] This makes the more interactive mediums on the Internet an important means
of propagating racist ideology and behaviour. These
interactive mediums can, however, be more difficult to monitor and evaluate
and may also raise issues as to the reach of the Racial Discrimination
Act 1975

Email is a particularly
powerful organisational tool for racist groups because it allows direct
communication. The 'listserves' and 'newsgroups' operated by many of these
groups dramatically enhance the distribution of racist ideology through
email. Its capacity to influence individuals exploring racist ideology
is considerable, "particularly when somebody of the stature of a
Don Black [who launched the first racist website in 1995] sends you a
personalized e-mail message." [31]

The Racial Discrimination
will not always apply to emails however. An email would probably
be considered private (and beyond the reach of the Act) unless it was
forwarded by one of the correspondants to others. Emails between friends,
for example, are private and therefore not affected by the Racial Discrimination
. It is important to clarify, however, that it is an offence in
Australia to harass another person, including by email, so vilificatory
material privately posted to another is not always legal. Furthermore,
emails distributed more broadly than between people with a personal relationship
would immediately raise doubts as to the privacy of the communication.

In October 2002 a
racist email was reported to have been distributed randomly through a
computer virus in the Northern Territory. [32] There
have also been reports of other types of racist mass emails targeting
particular racial groups in Australia, and this type of circulation has
similarities to the problem of unsolicited bulk email or 'SPAM'.

Chat-rooms are also
mediums where racist communications take place and these forums can often
be classified as public and therefore within the reach of the legislation.
Many racist sites also have links to specialised discussion groups. Yahoo!
in the United States currently facilitates approximately 143 e-groups
concerned with racism and hate, whilst MSN (US) facilitates approximately
17 such groups. [33] The figures for Australian e-groups
are yet to be researched.

The extent to which
a password or other protective device takes a chat-room discussion communication
into the private realm (and beyond the reach of the Act) would need to
be evaluated on a case by case basis. In most cases, it does seem that
the ease and openness of access to most on-line chat-rooms and discussion
groups would disqualify them from claiming to be 'private'.

There are several
reasons why discussion groups are of concern to racial equality groups. [34] One is that discussion groups increasingly require
individuals to obtain passwords and, sometimes, the consent of the larger
group in order to participate. Within such closed venues racist ideology
is 'uncontested' by broader public views, which for some can amplify the
persuasiveness of the ideology being expressed. Furthermore, the type
of interaction available in a discussion group is important to ideological
persuasion. David Goldman poses the question "Think about how you
convince somebody of a proposition, any proposition." [35] The answer, he says, is by relating to the person's concerns and issues,
establishing these as shared, and then proposing the reason for these
problems - in this case, blaming minority and ethnic groups. This sort
of interaction is particularly important for alienated people who may
be vulnerable to recruitment into extremist groups. It allows such people
to find a sense of identity within the group and to be persuaded that
the blame for their circumstances or concerns is grounded in race.

It is important to
add that such membership groups are not necessarily 'private' for the
purposes of the Racial Discrimination Act as acquiring membership
may still be a reasonably easy matter. Again, a case by case analysis
would be necessary.

In addition, the
anonymity of discussion groups is important. For potential members there
is a perceived risk in becoming directly involved in an extremist group,
particularly for the first time. As Todd Schroer has noted, "If you
have to go to a Klan rally or actually write to [groups] to get involved
in hate, that's a big barrier to overcome." [36] Many people, particularly young people, would feel more secure attending
a "virtual cross burning" [37] than a real
one, and this anonymity permits "a safe exploration of extremist
ideology" for potential recruits. [38]

Finally, discussion
groups, and also the more interactive mediums generally such as emails,
etc, reinforce racism. It is not safe, or widely acceptable, for a person
to publicly advertise their racist views or behaviour. Discussion groups
create an environment where "racists can congratulate one another
and urge each other on to violence." [39]

Due to the success
of interactive Internet mediums in propagating racist ideology and recruiting
members to racist groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center concludes that
racist groups and individual propagandists will increasingly utilise the
more private Net venues. Given the fact that some of these interactive
mediums at least purport to be private, this trend potentially has important
implications in the application of the Racial Discrimination Act.

This paper has provided
an overview of the different types of racist activity on the Internet
together with illustrations of these. It demonstrates that the issue of
racism on the Internet is serious and takes many different forms. The
fact that these sites were accessed as part of HREOC's Australian-based
research evidences that the regulatory regime in Australia is not yet
effective in preventing racist material. The focus upon Australian-created
content also illustrates that this is not simply a problem generated by
other countries, even though the dimensions of the problem are significantly
expanded by overseas postings on the Internet.


The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by the Racial
Hatred Act 1995
. The term 'racial hatred' is taken from the title
of this federal amending legislation, even though the term is not used
in its text.
2. I consider this in the particular context of the exemptions
in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 which permit a range of offensive
material to be communicated, provided it is done reasonably and in good
faith (that is, without malice).
Monitor Racisme en extreme rechts, vierde rapportage, p. 45 (
as cited by Professor Henrik Kaspersen, Director of the Computer Law Institute,
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands in his keynote presentation
at HREOC's Cyber-racism Symposium held in Sydney on 22 October 2002. See
link: Cyber-Racism and the Council of Europe's
Southern Poverty
Law Centre, "Reevaluating the Net", Intelligence Report Spring
,, p.2,
accessed 22/08/2002.
5. ibid; also "Cyberhate Revisited", Intelligence
Report Spring 2001
p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
6. Southern Poverty Law Centre, "Cyberhate Revisited",
op.cit, p.3, accessed 22/08/2002.
7. The much-publicized "Stormfront" site created
by Don Black.
8. For example, "large groups are getting larger
as many small ones disappear": Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence
Report Winter 2000, op.cit, p.2, accessed on 25/08/2002.
9. Some define racial hatred according to "incitement
to violence" parameters (a US emphasis) while others use the term
to delineate a meaning concerned with 'generating hatred towards racial
groups'. See, for example, Southern Poverty Law Center, Intelligence Report
Winter 2000,,
p.2, accessed on 25/08/2002.
10. Les Back, "Aryans reading Adorno: cyber-culture
and twenty-first century racism", Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol.25,
No.4, July 2002, p.629, specifically referring to English language sites.
11. Estimate by the European Union's racism monitoring
unit in November 2000. See 'Netnews', on The Guardian Unlimited,,
accessed on 22/8/02.
12. Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
"Review of Reports, Studies and Other Documentation for the Preparatory
Committee and the World Conference", World Conference Against Racism,
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, UN Doc. A/CONF.189/PC.2/12,
27th April 2001; General Assembly, Fifty-seventh session, Measures to
combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia
and related intolerance, 11 July 2002,
13. HREOC has decided not to publish the web addresses
or names of the racial hatred sites examined in this paper in order to
avoid inadvertently promoting these sites through media or other interest.
14. This does not include music and discussion sites,
which will be addressed separately below.
15. Southern Poverty Law Center, "Reevaluating
the Net", op.cit, p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
16. Southern Poverty Law Center, "Cyberhate Revisited",
op.cit, p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
17. Anti-Defamation League, "Racist Groups Using
Computer Gaming to Promote Violence Against Blacks, Latinos and Jews",
19 February 2002,,
accessed 1/10/02.
18. ibid.
19. ibid.
20. Tzvi Fleishcher, "Sounds of Hate. The Neo-Nazi
music scene in Australia and beyond", The Review, Australian/Israel
Jewish Affairs Council
, Vol.25, No.8, August 2000, at
21. Michael Shannon, "Sounds of Violence".
The Australian Nazi Music Scene", The Australian/Israel Review,
11-24 April, 1997, p.2. The old German and Scandinavian pantheon of gods,
such as Odin, Thor, Loki, Frey, etc.
22. Tzvi Fleishcher, op.cit. p.1
23. ibid, p.4
24. ibid, p.5; Michael Shannon, "Sounds of Violence".
The Australian Nazi Music Scene", The Australian/Israel Review,
11-24 April, 1997, p.2.
25. Goldman shut the site in 2001.
26. Southern Poverty Law Center, "Cyberhate Revisited",
op.cit, accessed 2/10/2002, p.3
27. For example, one Australian site has 'lectures'
from the leader of a hate group that can be downloaded by users.
Matthew Arnison, Indymedia, "Open publishing is the same as free
software", March 2001, accessed 23/09/02, p.1
Quoted in Jeremy Jones, "Alternative's reality", The Review,
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), September 2002,
accessed 20/9/02.
Southern Poverty Law Center, "Reevaluating the Net", op.cit,
p.1, accessed 22/08/2002.
Southern Poverty Law Center, "Cyberhate Revisited", op.cit,
p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
"Racist e-mail", Northern Territory News, 5/10/02, p.5.
Raymond Franklin, The Hate Directory, Release 6.2, 1 October 2002,
accessed 7/10/02.
These are overviewed Southern Poverty Law Center, "Reevaluating the
Net", op.cit, p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
Southern Poverty Law Center, "Reevaluating the Net", op.cit,
p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
Todd Schroer as cited in Southern Poverty Law Center, "Reevaluating
the Net", op.cit, p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
Southern Poverty Law Center, "Cyberhate Revisited", op.cit,
p.2, accessed 22/08/2002; described as a "kind of hatefest in which
participants reinforce one another's racist views": Southern Poverty
Law Center, "Reevaluating the Net", op.cit, p.2, accessed 22/08/2002.
Southern Poverty Law Center, "Reevaluating the Net", op.cit,
pp.1-2, accessed 22/08/2002.
ibid, p.3.