European synthesis on the experimentation of training modules combating hate speech and discriminations

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Nov 102016

The European project BRICkS– Building Respect on the Internet by Combating Hate Speech – aims to combat the spread of online hate speech against migrants and minorities through media literacy and active involvement of web users and web content producers. In this framework, four media education modules -one in each country involved in the project (Italy, Belgium, Germany and Czech Republic)- were designed to raise awareness about fighting online discriminations and hate speech. These training modules were implemented in schools and youth centers between September 2015 and November 2016.

This report provides a synthesis about the design and the experimentation process of these training modules in each national context. It has been elaborated thanks to the materials produced and also collected by each national team: modules description, logbooks from trainers or teachers, quantitative data, examples of students’ productions and finally, some pictures from the workshops.  Continue reading »

#Silencehate: European Study on Hate Speech Online

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Okt 202016

The study is the synthesis of four studies conducted in Belgium (the French-speaking part of the country), Czech Republic, Germany and Italy, about the hate speech online against migrants and minorities.

It aims at comparing the various realities pinpointing differences and commonalities, with the aim of learning something from each national experience. In order to do this, the study will consider the national contexts and the case studies analysed by the national research teams.

A special attention is given to the actions undertaken to encourage a positive and effective contrast to racist and xenophobic discourse on the web and to the opinions and suggestions given by social media managers, journalists, media editors, media activists and scholars.

The study contains the “Guidelines for community and social media managers” for the prevention and contrast of hate speech online.



The report is downloadable here

The executive summary in Italian is available here



The Italian training module against hate speech is online!

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Sep 222016

After 200 hours workshops in 5 schools and 580 students involved, it is finally available online the training module realized in the framework of BRICkS Project.

Realized by Cospe and Centro Zaffiria, the module is addressed to teachers and educators with the objective of promoting the active role of young people in the prevention and fight against online racist and xenophobic speech.

The training module was created through three phases. Firstly, a participatory process made up of meetings with different stakeholders, such as social media managers and other web experts, teachers, educators and second-generation activists. Secondly, two days of seminar, on September 2015, with educators from Emilia Romagna and Toscana Region, with interventions of professors and experts on the subject, supported by activities and games of role. Lastly, the module was tested through workshops in five upper secondary schools in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna Region.

These workshops were instrumental for the creation of the training module, which is based on everyday life of students: their experiences, opinion, strategies, and emotions.

The methodologies adopted have the objective of connecting the problem to the concrete experience of the students, to stimulate their reasoning and their positive action. As a result, the module contains activities and resources to prevent and combat hate on the Internet, it collects concrete solutions and ideas to promote further studies and to engage students and teachers through games of role, videos, and debates.

The training module will be distributed to the schools and to the National and Local institutions of the Education sector, and a free download is available here.

The module is receiving a good attention from the media and some of the articles are reported below:




Orizzonte scuola:


BRICkS at the Internet Festival in Pisa, Italy

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Sep 132016

BRICkS will take part at the Internet Festival in Pisa on 9th October 2016 with the final event of the Project!

In the age of the “Internet of People and Things”, the dematerialisation of digital innovation creates real and solid links. An interconnected digital fabric that is ubiquitous, collaborative and adaptable, that supports the new information-based competitive and technological ecosystem.
The so-called “things” are nodes that are able to create signals that can then directly interact with cars, electric appliances, intelligent platforms and systems.The Internet Festival explores “forms of the future” that relate to this phenomenon. These digital “nodes and links” redefine the work of art and its audience, the economy and its agents, technology, sport, security, personal identity, conflicts, the media, education,…

Further information about our event about hate speech will be published  soon… Stay tuned!


Instagram against hate speech

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Sep 122016

Instagram’s Company recently announced that a new tool for filtering negative comments is available for its users.

The social network will automatically hide comments containing words or sentences considered inappropriate.

“Today, we’re taking the next step to ensure Instagram remains a positive place to express yourself,” Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom writes in a post. “The first feature we’re introducing is a keyword moderation tool that anyone can use. Now, when you tap the gear icon on your profile, you’ll find a new Comments tool. This feature lets you list words you consider offensive or inappropriate. Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts.”

It is a change for the better and an important action taken by the Company against abuse on the Internet.

Workshop on Hate Speech at DIG Festival 2016

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Jun 222016

From June 23rd to Sunday 26th at the Cinepalace in Riccione, will be held the DIG Festival 2016. During the four days of high-quality formation for journalists, speakers among the best international reporters will hold more than 20 courses to promote continuing education.

On Saturday 25th, Giovanni Maria Bellu (Carta di Roma), Alessia Giannoni (Cospe), Valerio Cataldi (TG2), Giovanni Ziccardi (University of Milano) will debate on “Hate speech: from quotation to comments, the difficult struggle against incitement to hatred”. The seminar will provide advice on how to manage hatred speeches made by politicians and public figures. In a round table, they will also focus on the best practices that online newsrooms should adopt to deal with violent and intolerant comments.


Check the full festival programme to learn more about the event!

Workshops for teachers in Italy

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Jun 062016

Two public events organized by BRICkS project took place in Italy in May. The objective is to disseminate the results of the workshops realized in secondary schools in Toscana and Emilia Romagna Region and to offer a training based on the module and multimedia toolkit against online hate speech. The workshops promoted by Cospe and Centro Zaffiria had involved more than 500 students for 200 hours.

 The training “Media Education and Hate Speech” was organized on the 24th Of May in Ravenna  in cooperation with the Municipality. The participants were teachers, cultural-linguistic mediators, and public officials for youth policies and migration. The experience in the classrooms was presented and ideas and suggestions about the possible solution against online hate speech and cyberbullying were discussed.

The second workshop was part of a conference organized in Florence on the 31th of May. The seminar was mainly addressed to teachers from various schools and it was the result of an important partnership among schools, associations and local authorities.  It was focused on the challenges for the future of education, with the aim of promoting a multilingual and international society, countering any form of stereotype and prejudice. One workshop was dedicated to experience of BRICkS and participants could discuss on online hate speech and related issues.

Other public presentations for teachers and educators will be organized after the summer break, stay tuned!


The Web We Want – The Guardian

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Mai 302016

Our Comment is free site (now called Opinionopened up our columnists to reader challenge in 2006, and the idea that every reader can have their say is something that has made our pages special ever since. Much of the debate between readers and writers has been fascinating. But some subjects – historically Israel/Palestine, and today Islam, refugees or immigration – attract hate like a magnet. For the great bulk of our readers, and – yes – to respect the wellbeing of our staff too, we need to take a more proactive stance on what kind of material appears on the Guardian site.

Thanks to our skilled moderators, much of the abuse on our site is at the milder end of the spectrum. But even this can derail conversations and have a chilling effect on writers. So the Guardian today launches a series to find the right answers – “The web we want”

Launched in April 2016, the Guardian’s initiative commissioned a research into the 70m comments left on its site since 2006. It reveals that articles which attract more abuse and dismissive trolling, regardless what article is about, are according to sex, colour of the skin, and religion of the writer.

But most commenters bring insight, knowledge and enthusiasm to the debate and an article has been dedicated to the best commenters. The aim is to promote positive comments which animate debate and give a different perspective to the discussion as a way to counter hate speech.

Nine of the Guardian’s best below-the-line commenters explain what stands for them, and tell their personal stories about where, how and why they started to write. According to them commenting means to give a personal opinion, and participate in a community.

In conclusion, The Guardian asks to its readers how to improve online comments, focusing on the future of the commenting spaces. “What would you need to change for you to get involved? How do we achieve constructive discussion for all?” these are some question that The Guardian addressed to its readers. Share your views here

“Countering Online Hate Speech”

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Mai 112016

Launched on 2015, “Countering Online Hate Speech” publication is a part of the ongoing UNESCO Series on Internet Freedom. The study has been realized in cooperation with the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford. It provides an overview of the dynamics characterizing online hate speech with the aim of disseminate some of the measures adopted to mitigate it, and good practices developed.

In the introduction we can read: “Hate speech online is situated at the intersection of multiple tensions: it is the expression of conflicts between different groups within and across societies; it is a vivid example of how technologies with a transformative potential such as the Internet bring with them both opportunities and challenges; and it implies complex balancing between fundamental rights and principles, including freedom of expression and the defence of human dignity.”.

The research focuses on four areas of study. First of all, the “definition” of the hate speech; secondly the “jurisdiction” of the national governments and the role of transnational companies; the “comprehension” especially the character of online hate speech and its relation to offline speech; lastly the “intervention”, meant as the identification of a variety of methods that have been used to address specific and contextual problems.


To learn more about the publication please click on the link

Workshop on Hate Speech in Bologna

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Mai 042016

On May the 3rd, a journalism workshop about hate speech took place in Bologna, hosted by International Centre Zonarelli. This lesson is part of the journalism training course organised by Association SHE news and addressed to a group of 10 migrant women. Also a group of students from the Department of Political Science took part at the participative training.

Alessia Giannoni, from Cospe, was invited to talk about “hate speech”, the role of media, its consequences and possible solutions. The lesson was the occasion for a real exchange among migrants, journalists, associations and students.