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January 31, 2013 1

App Developer Supplies Iranian Broadcasts Despite International Efforts

A UK-based mobile appli­ca­tion devel­oper named Shab­bir Has­sanally has cre­ated a series of apps allow­ing users to access news from a num­ber of Iran­ian tele­vi­sion sta­tions whose trans­mis­sions have been blocked since late last year.

Has­sanally is the co-founder Code of Zero, a firm respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of offi­cial apps for sev­eral of Iran­ian news sta­tions, includ­ing Iran’s English-language pro­pa­ganda sta­tion Press TV, and its sis­ter sta­tion, Spanish-language His­pan TV, both of which pro­mote vir­u­lent anti-Semitic and anti-West propaganda.

The apps are avail­able for down­load in the Apple App Store and Google Mar­ket­place for free and allow Iran­ian pro­pa­ganda to reach an even wider audience.

In Octo­ber 2012, the France-based satel­lite car­rier Eutel­sat banned the broad­cast of 19 tele­vi­sion and radio sta­tions from Iran’s state broad­caster, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB). A cou­ple months later, His­panSat, a Spain-based satel­lite provider that broad­cast His­pan TV, fol­lowed suit and ended its trans­mis­sion of IRIB sta­tions. Both satel­lite car­ri­ers have cited EU sanc­tions against Iran as part of the basis to dis­con­tinue the trans­mis­sion of IRIB sta­tions in the West.

Has­sanally has a his­tory of involve­ment with Iranian-backed pro­grams and orga­ni­za­tions. Has­sanally was respon­si­ble for the man­age­ment of the offi­cial web­site for the 2012 Global March To Jerusalem (GMJ), a cam­paign that coor­di­nated efforts by activists to cross Israel’s bor­ders and enter Jerusalem. Addi­tion­ally, Has­sanally hosts the offi­cial site for the Ahlul­Bayt Islamic Mis­sion (AIM), a UK-based Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes the Iran­ian regime’s ideology.

In Decem­ber 2012, the Anti-Defamation League released its report, Iran’s Press TV: Broad­cast­ing Anti-Semitism To The Eng­lish Speak­ing World.

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January 11, 2013 0

The Trouble With Make Me a “Stereotype”

Appli­ca­tions for smart­phones and tablets have become an emerg­ing seg­ment of the online and enter­tain­ment indus­try.  As with videos, blogs and social net­work­ing plat­forms which came before, Apps are now being cre­ated that some con­sider funny, but which  actu­ally cross the line from humor­ous to offen­sive.  Recent exam­ples include two free apps on Google called “Make Me Asian” and “Make Me Indian,” that allow users to edit pho­tos in ways which play on racist stereo­types. Users of the app can darken skin color, change eye shape to an “Asian” slant or add eth­nic acces­sories like an Amer­i­can Indian head­dress.

Young chil­dren often make fun of Asian Amer­i­can class­mates by pulling their eyes to make a slant or play “Indian,” com­plete with head­dress or a “war-cry.” As adults, this is the very kind of think­ing we try to chal­lenge in our chil­dren.  We want them to under­stand and respect dif­fer­ent cul­tures, not belit­tle or ridicule them or make assump­tions about all mem­bers of a group based on com­mon stereo­types.  We teach them that every­one has dif­fer­ent phys­i­cal fea­tures, qual­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics that have noth­ing to do with the groups to which they belong.

Stereo­types make over­sim­pli­fied gen­er­al­iza­tions about peo­ple or groups with­out regard for indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences. The prob­lem is that these gen­er­al­iza­tions soon become beliefs about groups which form  the build­ing blocks for prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion, fea­tures of life that have seri­ous impli­ca­tions for us all.  Apps like “Make Me Asian” and “Make Me Indian” and a score of oth­ers built on this con­cept play on per­ni­cious stereo­types that mar­gin­al­ize indi­vid­u­als and groups. Though the global com­mu­nity is racially and eth­ni­cally diverse, these kinds of apps pro­mote the kind of think­ing that being white is the norm and every­thing else is defined as “other.”

As a soci­ety, we spend much of our time inter­act­ing through our mobile devices, but when we choose so-called enter­tain­ment that rein­forces these kinds of stereo­types, we have to con­sider whether we might be con­tribut­ing to the per­pet­u­a­tion of the inci­vil­ity that lim­its everyone’s opportunities.

The Anti-Defamation League strives to remain vig­i­lant of emerg­ing issues in our dig­i­tal world and com­mu­ni­cates reg­u­larly with many of the major com­pa­nies on issues that are raised by the community.

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January 10, 2013 1

App On Google Play Delivers Hitler’s Vile Messages To Arabic Speaking Audience

Update: The app is no longer avail­able as of Jan­u­ary 22.

A free appli­ca­tion pro­vid­ing users with vile quotes attrib­uted to Hitler has been installed by over 10,000 users in the last 30 days through Google Play, the app store for Android products.

The Arabic-language app, “Hitler’s Say­ings,” allows users to read and share what it describes as Hitler’s “beau­ti­ful say­ings that we could ben­e­fit from in our lives” via social media networks.

A descrip­tion of the app says, “Hitler com­bines the charisma of the skill­ful physi­cian and the grand juggler…Read in this appli­ca­tion all of Hitler’s say­ings and share them with your friends.”

Among the quotes made avail­able to users are:

  • Jews are like the mos­qui­tos that suck our blood.”
  • I dis­cov­ered that the Jews are behind every immoral­ity or crime against society.”
  • I could have killed all the Jews in the world, but I spared some of them so you know why I killed the rest.”
  • Oh Ger­mans defend your­selves and never buy any­thing from the Jews.”

Other quotes attrib­uted to Hitler include, “The needs of soci­ety super­sede the needs of the indi­vid­ual” and “I will not have mercy over the weak until they become strong, and when they become strong they will not deserve mercy.”

Hitler con­tin­ues to be a point of fas­ci­na­tion and exploita­tion by those who seek to pro­mote his mes­sages as inspi­ra­tion to audi­ences around the world.

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