He was playing a virtual game with friends over the summer when another child let a user into the group who they had not played with before. That account then ushered in other users, and several days later they launched a toxic tirade of harassment and flooded the chat with anti-Semitic vitriol, swastikas and neo-Nazi propaganda.When my son pushed back, they bombarded him with aggressive, hateful messages. As soon as we blocked and reported one abusive account, another disturbing message would appear within seconds in a seemingly coordinated attack.
My son and I had previously discussed what to do if he was ever targeted online, or witnessed harassment, and we were able to respond quickly, but his experience is not unusual.Hate speech and online abuse have been pervasive in digital spaces for many years, but the use of gaming and messaging platforms by extremists and the alt-right to target younger users is increasing as more children play online. A 2017 Pew study found that 90 percent of teens now use gaming platforms; and a 2019 survey from Common Sense Media found that 64 percent of tweens 8 to 12 years old play online games.“Extremists are moving more and more into gaming spaces and targeting a young audience,” said Mark Potok, an expert in domestic hate groups and former senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “This kind of access is what they have wanted for years.”
Virtual hate speech also increased during the pandemic as online activity soared, according to a report issued by L1GHT, a technology company that identifies toxic speech online.“It’s not men in white hoods on the street anymore,” said Laura Guy, a clinical social worker in New York City who works with children who have been targeted online. “They don’t always begin with overtly hateful language. Oftentimes, they try to engage youth with edgy, dark humor and provocative jokes.”
Caregivers can use privacy settings as a first line of defense against online harassment or recruiting, but extremists find workarounds to gain access to children. For instance, they create misleading or fake accounts to lure children and their friends into accepting friend requests, or to join their games.
In Discord — a popular messaging platform where gamers can chat while playing — extremists have espoused hate and created servers glorifying Nazis. Users can organize “raiding parties” that encourage their members to barrage another server with hateful messages.Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. ZS is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Looking at its valuation, ZS is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 441.75. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 26.27, so we one might conclude that ZS is trading at a premium comparatively.Also, we should mention that ZS has a PEG ratio of 8.73. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. The Internet - Services industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 3.41 as of yesterday's close.
The Internet - Services industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 178, which puts it in the bottom 30% of all 250+ industries.The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.