(photo credit: REUTERS)
A new website called FashMaps charts the locations of purported neo-Nazis, primarily across the US, but also in Canada, Australia, South America and other areas.
“FashMaps is a tool for studying the presence of fascism around the world,” reads the description of the website, which was unveiled at the end of January.
One map is titled “Nazis in your neighborhood.”
“This map is an ongoing project to study the presence of fascism around the world,” reads an accompanying text. It states that most of the locations shown are not precise.
All of the information is collected from the publicly available message boards of the American neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. The site’s message boards remained active even after the site was shut down in August 2017, when it sparked outrage by insulting the victim of the far-right “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A text uploaded by a founder of FashMaps under the alias “Simon,” says that fascists all over the US use the message boards to organize into what they call “Book Clubs,” “SBCs” or “Pool Parties.”
Using the interactive tool, users can click on specific areas of the map and view profiles and activity or specific users.
Another map uploaded by “Simon” charts terrorist attacks perpetrated by white supremacists since 2001.
Responding to an email sent by Dallas-based news site Central Track, FashMap requested that the outlet refer to them as Simon, while linking to a Wikipedia page for Simon Wiesenthal, the well-known Holocaust survivor turned Nazi-hunter.
In the email, “Simon” said that one of the aims of the initiative was to show people that Nazi and white supremacist activity is thriving in areas where one might not expect to find it.
“People, especially liberals, tend to think that just because they live in a big, blue metropolis, that their neighborhoods/cities are immune from the spread of this hateful philosophy,” the email said. “In reality, those tend to be some of the best breeding grounds for fascists... especially around institutions of higher education.”
FashMaps states that it is for education, awareness and research only.