Neo-Nazis increase online social network activity for new recruits

Neo-Nazis increase online social network activity for new recruits
Photo: DPA
Right-wing extremists are increasing their activity on online social networks to reach young people, the Lower Saxony state intelligence service warned on Thursday.

Neo-Nazis are using sites like Facebook, and similar German sites such as SchülerVZ, StudiVZ, Wer-kennt-wen and StayFriends to find new recruits, head of the agency Hans Wargel told daily Die Welt.

The danger is that many young people are unable to recognise propaganda and attempts at indoctrination from these groups at first glance, he said, explaining that instead of blatant symbols such as swastikas, many are using graffiti and other less-recognisable imagery from youth culture.

“The right-wing extremists appear as a wolf in sheep’s clothing online,” he told the paper. “At first they seem very harmless, and try to surreptitiously gain the trust of other users.”

The tactic is new for these groups, he added, referring to a newspaper for the neo-Nazi NPD party called Deutsche Stimme, which recently encouraged its members to appear on online forums as people with humour, hobbies, and serious cultural interests.

They were also told not to openly identify with the NPD and its ideology, he said.

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