Fearing that children are particularly vulnerable targets for hatemongers, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) unveiled a new software program Nov. 11 designed to filter bigotry from home and school computers.
While there are dozens of internet filters available, “HateFilter” does more than just restrict access to a bigoted site. It steers the user to the ADL’s own home page, which tries to counter the messages of hate.
In the past, hate groups would get their messages out with pamphlets distributed on street corners. These days, “they can reach millions and millions of people quickly, easily, and very inexpensively,” said Howard Berkowitz, national chairman of the ADL.
The software, which can be purchased for about $30 a year, filters specific web sites rather than weeding out material using certain key words. For example, if the ADL tried to block hate groups using the word “Nazi,” it would end up barring historical information about the Holocaust.
The ADL plans to update the software each week to block access to new web pages or old ones that change their addresses.