ASU Launches Hate Speech Surveillance With Biden Administration’s Help

September 19, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Last week, Arizona State University (ASU) launched a hate speech surveillance campaign with assistance from the federal government.

ASU’s McCain Institute received support from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program to launch SCREEN Hate, an effort to monitor youths’ online activity. The institute told parents and caregivers that it was only a matter of time before the minors in their lives were discovered and corrupted by hate online.

“Trusting that your family’s values will protect them is not enough,” warned the campaign site.

The campaign resources came from DHS and leftist organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), UNESCO, Common Sense Media, and the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

The NSBA coordinated with the Biden administration to investigate parents and community members for domestic terrorism based on their school board activism. When reporters discovered this coordination between the DOJ and NSBA, the NSBA issued an apology letter that they later backdated on their website weeks after our reporting pointed out the letter’s absence online. It was only when the NSBA uploaded and backdated its apology letter that they deleted their celebratory press release about the Biden administration heeding their petition to investigate parents. 

One of the SPLC resources insinuated that devout Christians constituted extremist beliefs.

“Extremist beliefs say that one group of people is in dire conflict with other groups who don’t share the same racial or ethnic, gender or sexual, religious, or political identity,” stated SPLC. “Extremists believe that this imagined conflict can only be through separation, domination, or violence between groups.”

One resource from UNESCO advises individuals on how to “stop the spread of conspiracy theories.” The organization asserts that the world can’t be divided into objective good or bad, and that no powerful forces with negative intent are secretly manipulating events. 

Another resource, from the ADL, framed the 2020 George Floyd riots as peaceful protests, and those opposed to the rioters as white supremacists and extremists. The resource, “White Supremacy Search Trends in the United States,” also claimed that white supremacy was behind the January 6 protest at the Capitol. 

Search trends that the ADL deemed “white supremacist” included any inquiries about the truth behind the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization. The organization also declared that search trends reflecting concerns about the “great replacement theory” were rooted in conspiracy. ADL said that Arizona was the third in the top ten states it deemed to have the highest consumption of extremist content.

SCREEN Hate directs individuals to download the “Resilience Net” app in order to access a directory of practitioners who specialize in violence and terrorism prevention. It’s part of the One World Online Resilience Center (OWORC), a DHS-funded initiative from the Massachusetts-based organization founded by Boston Marathon survivors, One World Strong.

SCREEN Hate is the latest initiative of the McCain Institute’s Preventing Targeted Violence Program, which mainly focuses on combating right-wing extremists and white supremacy. The McCain Institute attributes the program’s focus to the DHS declaration that white supremacists were the biggest threat to the U.S., citing the 2020 Homeland Threat Assessment.

The Biden administration has labeled Americans supportive of former President Donald Trump as “MAGA Republicans” that present a “clear and present danger” to the country.

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” declared Biden. “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.”

During Sunday’s speech commemorating the 21st anniversary of 9/11, Biden alluded to his administration’s focus on rooting out present domestic terror threats at home.

That same day, Vice President Kamala Harris clarified Biden’s intent in a subsequent interview with MSNBC. The pair discussed the Biden administration’s focus on combating the “threat from within,” which Harris concurred was comparable to 9/11. 

“I think [that threat] is very dangerous and I think it is very harmful. And it makes us weaker,” said Harris.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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