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April 23, 2013 2

Hate App Targets Towson University

Update 8/2/13: A new White Stu­dent Union has formed at Geor­gia State Uni­ver­sity by fresh­man Patrick Sharp.

The increas­ing exploita­tion of easy-to-use soft­ware to cre­ate smart­phone apps by hate groups sig­nals a move into a new realm of dig­i­tal propaganda.

Some hate groups, like the neo-confederate League of the South, have pro­duced apps intended for a gen­eral audi­ence. Oth­ers, how­ever, are devel­op­ing apps with spe­cific pro­pa­ganda tar­gets in mind. For exam­ple, the Tow­son White Stu­dent Union, founded by white suprema­cist Matthew Heim­bach, a stu­dent at Tow­son Uni­ver­sity in Mary­land, has cre­ated an app specif­i­cally tar­get­ing stu­dents at the school.

Like the League of the South’s app, the Tow­son White Stu­dent Union (Tow­son WSU) app is visu­ally crude and tech­ni­cally rudi­men­tary, pri­mar­ily offer­ing a col­lec­tion of links. In the case of the Tow­son WSU app, the links lead to blogs, a group Face­book page, a Twit­ter account for the group’s orga­nizer, a Google search results page, and a YouTube chan­nel for the group.

These Android apps are not avail­able through the autho­rized Google Play web­site. How­ever, as Android apps do not need to be cer­ti­fied for instal­la­tion (unlike iPad/iPod/iPhone apps), they are read­ily avail­able through unof­fi­cial apps dis­tri­b­u­tion websites.

Years ago, tech­no­log­i­cal advances made it easy for hate groups to cre­ate web­sites with­out actu­ally hav­ing sophis­ti­cated com­puter knowl­edge or skills. As the preva­lence of wire­less devices increases and easy-to-use app cre­ation soft­ware pro­lif­er­ates, the pres­ence of this sort of smart­phone and tablet app will undoubt­edly increase.

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March 9, 2012 Off

Controversial Student Group Covers Campus with Racist Message

Matthew Heim­bach, YWC leader at Towson
The Tow­son Uni­ver­sity chap­ter of Youth for West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion (YWC), a con­tro­ver­sial, far-right nation­wide stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, has claimed respon­si­bil­ity for chalk­ing the racist mes­sage, “white pride” all over the cam­pus. Stu­dents at the school in Mary­land often use chalk to write mes­sages or adver­tise events on cam­pus sidewalks.
The term “white pride” orig­i­nated from and is com­monly used by white suprema­cist groups, includ­ing neo-Nazis and racist skin­heads.  The leader of the YWC at Tow­son, Matthew Heim­bach, asserted that the group wrote the mes­sage because it wanted to cel­e­brate its own pride and her­itage, as other groups on cam­pus do.
As a nation­wide group the YWC claims that its chap­ters are open to peo­ple of all back­grounds. How­ever, YWC’s pro­mo­tion of white pride at Tow­son belie that con­tention. This is not the first time the group has pro­moted white suprema­cist ideals. In the spring of 2011, the nation­wide YWC did a joint fund-raising cam­paign with well-known white suprema­cist Jared Tay­lor.
When Heim­bach addressed a meet­ing held by the school to deal with the racial ten­sion that the “white pride” mes­sages engen­dered, he report­edly wore a T-shirt with a Con­fed­er­ate flag in the front, fur­ther inflam­ing the sit­u­a­tion. The Con­fed­er­ate flag is a racially charged sym­bol of hatred and slav­ery that is offen­sive to many people.

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