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Southern Poverty Law Center sues political website for harassment

[JURIST] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against the founder of the website The Daily Stormer. SPLC filed the suit on behalf of a Montana woman who claims [SPLC press release] to have been targeted by the website with an anti-Semitic harassment campaign. According to the suit, the founder Andrew Anglin published [Chicago Tribune report] over 30 articles encouraging his followings to launch a "troll storm" against the woman and her family, who claim to have received more than 700 harassing messages since December. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Montana Missoula Division [official website] and seeks compensatory and punitive damages claiming invasion of privacy as well as intentionally inflicting emotional distress. The suit also claims that Anglin's actions violate the Montana Anti-Intimidation Act.

There has been an alarming rise in anti-Semitism worldwide. In February UK lawmakers stated in a report [JURIST report] that the country needs to take action against rising anti-Semitism. In January the UN General Assembly held a daylong informal meeting [JURIST report] devoted to anti-Semitism in response to a global increase in violence against Jews. The meeting was requested by 37 countries in a letter to the General Assembly president in October. Also in January French police arrested 54 people [JURIST report] for verbally supporting or threatening terrorist acts in the wake of the terrorist attacks at the offices of French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket. Also that month a French court upheld the ban [JURIST report] on a performance by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala that was deemed anti-Semitic and generated much discussion [JURIST op-ed].

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