Advertising agency M&C Saatchi has been brought on board by the UK government to lead a £60m advertising campaign to combat extremism, hate speech and racism.
Focused on far-right ideology the initiative seeks to counter online propaganda by harnessing social media amidst growing concern at expansion of the ‘alt-right’ movement in the UK and continental Europe.
In the US too such views are gaining ground with Steve Bannon of Breitbart News, labelled a neo-fascist, elevated to be named as Donald Trump’s chief strategist.
According to The Times, Whitehall is treating the threat so seriously it has established a dedicated anti-subversion unit and a £2m security fund to provide protection for places of worship such as mosques.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “This government is determined to challenge extremism in all its forms including the evil of far-right extremism and the terrible damage it can cause to individuals, families and communities.”
The government has been monitoring contacts between British extremists and vigilante groups patrolling the borders of eastern Europe against migrants after former BNP leader Nick Griffin was photographed handing over a cache of bullet proof vests, drones and night vision goggles in a Bulgarian forest.
In recent months both Twitter and Reddit have moved to close down hate speech online.