A white nationalist and neo-Nazi online discussion forum received 80,000 visits from people in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed.
According to The Times, the work by the Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism shows that the white nationalist and neo-Nazi discussion forum had 12 million posts during its lifetime. In one month it had 800,000 visits, with 80,000 appearing to originate from the UK.
The Prime Minister joined world leaders at the Online Extremism Summit in Paris to focus on international efforts to stop social media being used to organise and promote terrorism. The summit was prompted by the terrorist attack at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March, in which 51 people died during an attack that was live streamed on Facebook.
At the summit, the Prime Minister signed up to the “Christchurch Call To Action” pledge to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. She called for consistent standards to keep internet users safe from harm and said that it is time to confront the growing threat from the far-right. Home Office figures published last year showed that the number of people referred to Prevent, the counter-extremism programme, for concerns over extreme right-wing activity rose by more than a third to 1,312 out of 7,318 referrals in 2017-2018, up from 968 in the previous year.
The summit was also attended by Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s Chief Executive and Sir Nick Clegg, Head of Global Affairs at Facebook.
National Action, a neo-Nazi group with deep rooted antisemitic ideologies, was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. Under section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, membership of a proscribed terrorist organisation is a criminal offence.