With the slogan “Silence hate – Changing words changes the world” and the hashtag #silencehate, the European campaign against online hate speech will take-off on 21st March, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Even though there is no systematic monitoring of this phenomenon at European level, almost all national and international experts and scholars agree that social media, websites and social networks have become fertile grounds for spreading xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitic and racist discourses.
The goal of this web-based campaign is to draw attention to the need to prevent diffusion of hatred on the Internet and promote a better use of the web: a common effort which should involve newspapers, web users and social network managers, beginning from such fundamental elements as freedom and participation which characterize the web.
The ‘Silence hate’ initiative is promoted in four European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy) in the framework of the European project “BRICkS” – Building Respect on the Internet by Combating hate Speech”, aimed at combating and preventing racism and discrimination on the Internet. The launch of the ‘Silence hate’ campaign will also include the presentation of the studies on hate speech, journalism and migration conducted in the four countries.