A disturbing trend is emerging in which prolific posters on hate forums are becoming "disproportionately responsible" for racist murders and mass killings, a report has said.
Stormfront.org is linked to close to 100 killings in the last five years, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found after a two-year investigation,.
The White Nationalist web forum says it promotes values of “the embattled white minority” – now it has been branded the "murder capital of the Internet."
SPLC's research shows the site typically only gets about 1,800 visits a day from users all over the world, with its sordid list of users including Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a 2011 massacre in Norway, and Wade Michael Page, who shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in 2012.
The SPLC said Stormfront, which boasts some 268,000 registered users, has become "a magnet for the deadly and deranged."
The typical Stormfront member is a “white adult male living with his mother or an estranged spouse or girlfriend,” the report stated.
“If you spend enough time looking at these folks, there is a pattern that emerges," Heidi Beirich, report author and a director at the SPLC’s Intelligence Project said.
"It’s pretty clear that websites like Stormfront are breeding grounds for people who are just enraged at their situation, it’s there that people find the reasons their lives aren’t as they had hoped and Stormfront helps them find the enemy that is standing in their way – whether it be Jews, African Americans, immigrants and so on,”he said.
“Unfortunately it’s not very surprising that people who live in this kind of stew of violent racism eventually pick up a gun and do something about it at some point.”
NBC News reported that Frazier Glenn Cross, the man accused of killing three people at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City on April 13, was barred from Stormfront because of disagreements with the site's founder.
Stormfront founder Don Black, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, told ABCNews that Cross, who reportedly posted thousands of comments on a different racist forum, was not welcomed at Stormfront because he testified in court against several white supremacists at a 1988 trial.
"He was certainly unwelcome and I couldn't imagine why he would think he is welcome,” Black said.
Black said the SPLC report was "ludicrous" and its figures were “inflated’ because it included mass murderer Breivik.
"We're obviously a big website, and any site is likely to have a few unstable people pass through. Facebook, Twitter, and particularly Craigslist have had their share," Black added in a statement he posted on his website.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more