From Bookshelves to Desktops
Klein explores the origins of the relationship between information and hate, an unlikely union that has steadily evolved over time through the practices of propaganda and innovations of media. The chapter traces the transformation of hate speech into an “informational form,” from books, to electronic media, into the computer age. Klein chronicles examples such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery whose pages purportedly evidenced the Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, as well as the Turner Diaries, a race war fantasy novel later cited as “inspiration” by Timothy McVeigh. Chapter 2 then introduces the early extremists who, in the 1990s, would launch the first hate websites, which currently receives upwards of 800,000 visitors each month.