FBI spokespersons said this weekend they are reviewing a white supremacist website that published addresses said to belong to five of the six black teens accused of beating a white student in Jena, Louisiana.
The site read, "Lynch the Jena 6." Snip from AP item:
Sheila Thorne, an agent in the FBI's New Orleans office, said authorities were reviewing whether the site breaks any federal laws. She said the FBI had "gathered intelligence on the matter," but declined to further explain how the agency got involved.Link to AP story.
CNN first reported Friday about the Web site, which features a swastika, frequent use of racial slurs, a mailing address in Roanoke, Va., and phone numbers purportedly for some of the teens' families "in case anyone wants to deliver justice." That page is dated Thursday.
The site in question, overthrow dot com, has been off and online intermittently -- but its cache and mirrors are easily googleable if you're inclined to observe the contents for yourself. "Overthrow" plus "jena" plus "bill white" plus the n-word will get you there in a hurry. One of the mirrors is hosted on blogspot, and the content is about what you'd expect (hey, surprise: The Jews are to blame, too!).
More wandering through Google and the Wayback Machine shows that Mr. White has a history of dramatically inserting himself into current events involving race; sort of a serial troll.
Editorial note: I usually don't link to neo-nazi websites, or any site that invites people to kill specific other people -- so I'll refrain from doing so here. I'd welcome your thoughts on whether or not that's the right thing to do in the comments.
Here's a question for federal law buffs and attorneys out there: what are the legal boundaries with this sort of website? Hateful or racist speech isn't illegal, per se, nor is publishing someone's publicly listed address on the internet. Many a troll would be in jail if that were the case. Is the legal issue at hand whether this site specifically calls for the murder of the people whose purported home addresses were listed? At what point does a site like this become defined as "hate crime" or "incitement to violence"? Again, your observations are welcomed here.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.