Since the research for this study was completed in 2005, the number of hate sites operated by U.S.-based hate groups has continued to escalate. At the time this study was being conducted, it was estimated that there were fewer than 500 U.S.-based hate sites (Potok, 2004). At the time this book was being written in the summer of 2007, it was estimated that the number of U.S.-based hate sites was approaching 600 (Potok, 2007). It appears that wars abroad, terrorism concerns, rising fuel prices, and immigration anxiety are helping to create an atmosphere in the United States that is increasingly uneasy, and thus particularly conducive to a proliferation of U.S.-based hate group rhetoric on the Internet.
Despite the growth in the number of U.S.-based hate sites, and the possible implications of this growth for American society and the Internet community, relatively few analyses of the content of these Web sites have been conducted. This study fills some of the void that exists regarding the analysis of the content of Web sites maintained by hate groups in the United States. Specifically, this study examined content posted on the publicly accessible areas of a sample of 10 sites maintained by organized U.S.-based hate groups.