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Why the Crypto Market Is Down Today

The online video-storage and live streaming platform Odysee has become a haven for extremists, who are using the site’s cryptocurrency-based revenue system to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars, researchers at the Southern Poverty Law Center found in a new report shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

The SPLC’s inaugural Digital Threat Report, released publicly today, focuses on the video streaming website, which launched in 2020.The report is the first in a series of investigations of technology platforms that have been co-opted by extremists, which will be released in coming months by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

The goal is to create a knowledge base about so-called “alt-tech” websites popular with extremists, and inform website users, parents and investors about the way the sites are being used. The effort is similar to the SPLC’s Extremist Files, which have long provided a catalog of information and data about extremist groups and individuals across the country, said Megan Squire, SPLC’s Deputy Director for Data Analytics. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center's new Digital Threat Report examines fundraising on the video streaming site Odysee.

“What I really wanted to do was focus on the tech and the platforms that are slipping by — they’re enabling extremism and fundraising, but people may not be aware of what they’re doing,” Squire said. “Say you see on your kid’s browser history — it just looks like a video sharing website — you don’t realize that at any given moment they’re two clicks away from actual Nazi propaganda.”

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