“The German lawyers’ battle against hate speech on Facebook still goes on”

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Mrz 052016

To facilitate the posting of anti-Semitic and other inflammatory content online: this is the accusation of Activist German attorney who have faced resistance in their quest to hold Facebook accountable to Germany’s hate speech laws.

Despite it is illegal to incite hatred and to publicly Nazi symbols in Germany, they can still be found on Facebook’s platform. Chan-jo Jun, a Bavaria-based lawyer, affirmed that the platform has negative changed German society. Jun has a list of more than 300 Facebook pages and posts that reported swastikas and other Nazi-related images, including comments against migrants who have flooded Germany during the last period.

Even though Facebook’s efforts to satisfy Germany requests over “online hate speech”, this matter continues. The social’s network founder Mark Zuckerberg is being taken to court in the country; therefore, the lawyers are pushing for criminal charges against Zuckerberg and want him to pay a € 150 million for the violation.

Read the original article from VICE here

Hate speech regulations or free speech restrictions?

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Mrz 042016

This article was published on PRISM Project web site, and it focuses on the complex question of freedom of speech.

Where is the borderline between personal opinion, freedom of expression and hate speech? Certainly, there is a thin line between free speech and hate speech, and the damage results consists on the offense caused to the victims. In many circumstances, we can only choose to protect the rights of others by prohibiting certain kinds of speech.

It is important to understand what the danger of not taking actions against these negative comments is: not react facilitate the spread of hate speech among users. Therefore, we have to play a positive role in combating hate speech by challenging offensive views, as actors of civil society too.

Read the article here

Facebook includes migrants to hate speech protection list

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Feb 282016

“Hate speech has no place on Facebook and in our community” is the declaration of, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.

Speaking at an event in Berlin he added “I don’t think we were doing a good enough job. And I think we will continue needing to do a better and better job”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Facebook to do more, with the aim of identifying criminal posts more quickly and talking them down.

Furthermore, during his visit to German, Zuckerberg also promised to have no tolerance for hate speech against migrants, and he underlined the need to eliminate negative comments on social network. Later he announced that the network’s privacy policies will be changed. For this reason, Facebook would add migrants to its list of “protected groups” as the next step to disrupt hate speech on its network.

Read the article from WIRED here

Less Hate, More Speech

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Feb 242016

Launched in July 2014, the Less Hate, More Speech Project is coordinated by Media Research Centre (MRC), in a partnership with University of Bergen (Norway), Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and CURS (The Center for Urban and Regional Sociology, Romania).

The project examines the role political elites and mass media play in reducing or promoting anti-democratic and intolerant discourse among the citizens.

It is an exploratory and comparative study that engages an international group of social scientists in designing and employing online experiments to understand the factors that shape the tone of everyday talk among Romanians.

Through its 11 workpackages that deal with different themes, the project will advance inter-disciplinary scientific research bridging the gap between political science, media studies, and communication science in the sensitive area of pro-democratic and minority-tolerant attitudes and make theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions to the state of the art.

The project will also shed light on the extent and sources of many differences between Norway and Romania with respect to the presence of a pro-democratic, tolerant discourse among citizens.

Less hate, more speech project will be presented on 6th April 2016 during the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy.

Click here to learn more about Less Hate, More Speech Project!

The Coral Project

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Feb 182016

The objective is to create open-source tools and resources for publishers of all sizes to build better communities around their journalism.

Launched in 2014, The Coral Project is a collaboration between the Mozilla Foundation, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

It’s a free web platform realized to promote a productive community, which creates software that publishers can use to better connect with their community, and that journalists can use to better connect with publishers.

In the website they also collect, support, and share practices, tools, and studies to improve communities on the web.

Useful tools are available on the website, for example a card game, to help people think about the structure of online communities. In the section dedicated to the community many contributors discuss about online communities, comment sections and journalism.


Click here and get involved in The Coral Project!

“Hate speech! Che cos’è?”

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Feb 102016

Murat Cinar ha realizzato un interessante video per Prospettive Altre nel quale quattro ragazzi torinesi, di varie estrazioni socio culturali, parlano dei discorsi di incitamento all’odio: che cosa sono, come funzionano e della loro diffusione nei vari mezzi di comunicazione. In particolare raccontano come li vivono in quanto giovani e quale potrebbe essere la soluzione da adottare per limitarne la propagazione.

Qui si rimanda al video completo


Dossier: “Hate speech”, i discorsi d’odio

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Feb 102016

Recentemente su Prospettive Altre, il portale promosso da Cospe insieme ad ANSI, è stato pubblicato il dossier che raccoglie gli articoli sul fenomeno hate speech. L’anno 2015 è stato segnato dalla crescita preoccupante di molti casi di estremismo e di odio. Sia l’estremismo religioso che la crescita inquietante di nazionalismi esasperati apertamente xenofobi, razzisti, omofobi e violenti ci hanno condotto a una giusta riflessione sul problema e alle possibili soluzioni per arginarlo.

Le responsabilità da un lato sono dei social media che pubblicano notizie – a volte ingigantite – che mettono in cattiva luce le minoranze di vario genere; dall’altro lato sono dei social network che si dimostrano un bacino fertile per l’insorgere di commenti violenti e razzisti. Purtroppo anche la tv e la stampa tradizionale non sono da meno, spesso infatti mettono in risalto notizie dai caratteri forti e allarmisti, sia per creare maggior impatto che per ottenere maggior visibilità.

Per osservare il fenomeno di hate speech, per cercare di capire da dove viene e come funziona, quale impatto ha sulla società, sui giovani e su molto altro ancora, si consiglia la lettura del dossier su Prospettive Altre.

Hate on the Net

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Jan 262016

This article was published on a Comboni magazine on December 2015 and it is focused on hate speech and its spread on the Internet. Where is the limit between personal opinion, freedom of expression and hate speech? What is the position of journalists? How to react to this violence? These are some questions we’re trying to address with Bricks project and in the articles the objectives and the activities implemented are described. Statistics, national and European studies, campaigns are presented in order to disseminate best practices for the prevention and fight against online racist and xenophobic speech.

Read the Italian version here

Interview with Federico Faloppa

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Jan 252016

Karim Metref, Italian journalist and trainer of Algerian origin, interviewed Federico Faloppa, Programme Director for Italian Studies at the University of Reading, specialized in the research about linguistic construction and representation of otherness.

This article is focused on the European situation about migrants and refugees, on the role of the media and social networks in representing these news and on the phenomenon of online hate speech.

The impact of traditional media in the construction of public belief is still very important.

The language is a crucial point and Faloppa encourages journalists to strengthen their efforts for a better representation of migration related issues. Some improvements have been registered in the last years and especially now it is important to be careful with appropriate language and correct information.

Online hate speech is a big issue today and education and awareness raising activities are the first steps to undertake. On the other hand provider should also assume their responsibility in regulating this phenomenon, because hate speech is not free speech.

Read the italian version here

What is “hate speech”?

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Jan 122016

This article was published on the Italian magazine “Prospettive Altre”, promoted by COSPE and ANSI, the National Association of Intercultural Journalists.

The objective of Karim Metref, Italian journalist and trainer of Algerian origins, is to present some definitions about hate speech and related issues.

Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation. This term is linked to any public hate speech, discrimination or violence: public speech, written speech, audio or video speech spread by media, banners and slogans used in politics, cultural and sporting events and manifestations. As well as opinions and comments posted on social media such as: blogs, social networks, forums…

racism is a prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

xenophobia  is the fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or uncommon, and desire to eliminate its presence. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an uncritical exaltation of another culture and it includes fear of losing one’s own identity.

sessism, omophobia, transphobia are types of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.

anti-Semitism is prejudice against Jews as an ethnic and religious group, it’s widely considered to be a form of racism.

anti-Muslim sentiment is the prejudice against, or fear of the religion of Islam or Muslims.

Hate speech is everyone’s responsibility. We have to change mental approach to limit this movement, working with young people to make them aware of the consequences of hate speech and get close to a intercultural education and a civic society.

Read the italian version here