Net police investigate gay hate website
The Internet Watch Foundation has said that images on a homophobic blog site could be illegal.
The killbattyman site, hosted by blogger.com, which is owned by Google, is thought to originate in Jamaica.
The latest post features a doctored image of Peter Tatchell holding a placard with a sexually explicit picture of a child on it.
Now IWF, who tackle child abuse images on publicly accessible areas of the internet, has said they will take action against the blog.
PinkNews.co.uk exposed the killbattyman blog last week.
The site has been hosted on Google’s blogger.com service since March 2006. Much of the content of the site is too offensive to be reproduced on PinkNews.co.uk.
There are numerous slurs against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
The author or authors accuse all rappers of being gay and call on Jamaicans to murder all gay people.
The author also libels numerous heterosexual people, such as actors Christopher Reeve and John Travolta.
A spokeswoman for Google told PinkNews.co.uk:
“We take this very seriously. I cannot comment on individual blogs but this one has been brought to our attention.
“The blogger team will investigate and if it is found to violate our terms and conditions or is illegal we will take appropriate action.”
There was a warning page about the blog’s content over the weekend, reading: “
Some readers of this blog have contacted Google because they believe this blog’s content is hateful. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog.”
However, that page no longer appears.
Staff at website www.gayhate.org complained to IWF about the latest image on killbattyman, featuring a child, and got this response:
“We have assessed the image concerned to be potentially illegal under the UK Protection of Children Act. Therefore we have notified details of the content and its origins to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (UK).
“CEOP will disseminate these details to the relevant international law enforcement agency via Interpol.”
UK police are also investigating whether the site has broken any laws in the UK.
The Serious and Organised Crime Agency, who take the lead on internet crime in Britain, are examining the site and will decide if anything can be done about it.
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As the blog is emanating from Jamaica and is hosted by an American company, there would be considerable jurisdiction issues that will mean it is unlikely the police in the UK will be able to force the removal of the blog.
While a website that incites racial hatred is illegal in the UK and would be shut down, there is no broader law against other forms of hate being disseminated on the internet.
Mr Tatchell was unimpressed with the host company’s response:
“Google must not be allowed to get away with its false claim that the killbattyman website is merely about homophobia and prejudice.
“It is inciting murder, which is a criminal offence. The warning Google has put up is a feeble, insulting response.
“If this website was inciting the murder of Black or Jewish people, Google would close it down immediately. Why the double standards?”