Director of a Global social-action centre “Simon Wiesenthal” (SWC) Rabbi Abraham Cooper, said that the presence of racist, neo-Nazi rock bands and the overall extremist organisations was growing on social media platforms on a global level without the necessary cyber control.
The Rabbi told the Radio Free Europe that social media platforms should have a faster response to any extremist signs on the internet and therefore be able to prevent further problems.
In line with the centre’s report on the current presence of Neo-Nazism on social media and the effect it has on the Western Balkans countries, Cooper adds that this matter is dangerous and must be dealt with.
Closely connected to a Serbian branch “Krv i čast” (“Blood and Honour”), the “Terror 88” local band is one of the leading neo-Nazi music group spreading hate and offensive comments on social media, Cooper told the RFE.
On the other hand, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is a Bosnian national pride movement which strongly opposes Islam, Zionism, communism, capitalism, and is homophobic.
Cooper added that numerous different bands with a similar idea would occur by just searching a term “Ustashas” on YouTube.
There is no easy solution to this problem, according to Cooper.
“Even if the authorities, per say in Serbia, decided to take actions against them, the bands would still have plenty of other platforms like the American servers to promote their work, music and contorted opinions,” he said.
Cooper added that “platforms similar to Facebook like a Russian platform Vk.com, which is one of the top five most visited social media platforms in the world,” should not be excluded.
He advised the authorities in Serbia and the countries in the region that one should be extremely cautious in searching for the right intent.
“Social media has the biggest role in this scenario while the users come in second. If consumers notice any violation of rules and expression of hatred, they are the ones who need to react and report it right away,” Cooper said.
He added that those “reports could also be sent to Wiesenthal Centre directly by simply sharing a link. Anything that will make people take an active approach is beneficial.”
He also said that parents and school professors have a significant influence.