ECRI General Policy Recommendation on combating Hate Speech

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Apr 272016

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, ECRI – European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, has published a policy recommendation on combating hate speech. It is a guideline to all 47 member States on how to prevent hate speech, how to support those targets by it, and deal with its consequences.

An updated definition of this phenomenon is provided: hate speech is the advocacy, promotion or incitement of the denigration, hatred or vilification of a persone or a group of persons, any harassment, insult, negative stereotyping, stigmatization or threat of such person or persons and justification of these forms of expression, based on “race”, colour, language, religion or belief, nationality or national or ethnic origin, as well as descent, age, disability, sex, gender,  gender identity, sexual orientation and other characteristics or status.

Encouraging speedy reactions by public figures to hate speech, promoting self-regulation of media, raising awareness of the dangerous consequences of hate speech, encouraging political parties to sign the Charter of European Political Parties for a non-racist society, promote the monitoring of misinformation, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation, are among the most important recommendations.

It is important to recognise that a balance must be held between combating hate speech, and preserving freedom of speech. Indeed, Thorbjorn Jagland – the Council of Europe Secretary General – warned against arbitrary application of sanctions, and he affirmed: “Anti-hate speech measures must be well-founded, proportionate, non-discriminatory, and must not be used to curb freedoms of expression or assembly”.

Read ECRI’s report here

Hate is not an opinion. #SilenceHate in Italy

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Apr 052016

The #SilenceHate campaign was launched in Italy with a press conference in Rome on March the 17th. The occasion was the presentation of the research “Hate is not an opinion. Hate speech, journalism and migration”, realized by COSPE on the framework of BRICKS.

The press conference was organized by COSPE in cooperation with the National Union of Journalists FNSI, Articolo 21, Carta di Roma and Illuminare le periferie in order to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The aim of this research is to use analyses of case studies and interviews of select witnesses and media sources to shed light on the phenomenon of online hate speech directed at immigrants, refugees, and minorities. Continue reading »

“L’odio non è un’opinione” Prima ricerca italiana su hate speech, giornalismo e migrazioni

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Mrz 152016


Federazione Nazionale della Stampa

17 marzo 2016 – ore 12.00

Corso Vittorio Emanuele 349, sala Tobagi

14 marzo – In occasione della giornata mondiale contro il razzismo (21 marzo), la Federazione Nazionale della Stampa, Articolo 21, Carta di Roma e COSPE, in collaborazione  con, presentano la ricerca “L’odio non è un’opinione. Hate speech, giornalismo e migrazioni”. La ricerca realizzata da COSPE nell’ambito del progetto europeo contro il razzismo e la discriminazione su web, “BRIKCS” – Building Respect on the Internet by Combating hate Speech”, ha approfondito questo fenomeno tramite l’analisi di casi studio ed interviste a testate e testimoni privilegiati.

Social media, siti e social network sono infatti diventati uno spazio fertile per la diffusione della xenofobia, islamofobia, e discorsi antisemiti e razzisti.

La ricerca ha indagato, attraverso interviste alle testate e analisi di casi studio, le problematiche di gestione delle proprie community e più in generale del lavoro giornalistico ai tempi del web: dalla libertà di espressione alla necessità di regolamentazione, dal ruolo dei giornalisti a quello dei social media manager, dall’obiettivo di informare a quello di coinvolgere e le soluzioni diverse da parte delle redazioni, in una fase di sperimentazione contraddistinta da una difficoltà di adattamento alla dimensione digitale.

Lo stesso giorno sarà lanciata la campagna europea: “Silence hate – changing words changes the worldcon l’hashtag #silencehate con l’obiettivo della campagna web è proprio porre l’attenzione sulla necessità di impedire la diffusione dell’odio e promuovere un uso consapevole della rete.

Durante la conferenza sarà distribuita la ricerca.



Giuseppe Giulietti – Presidente FNSI
Pietro Suber – Associazione Carta di Roma
Alessia Giannoni – COSPE
Elisa Marincola – Articolo 21 / Illuminare le periferie del mondo


Per info: Ufficio stampa COSPE: Pamela Cioni – tel. 055473556 – cell. 3382540141 –

A toolkit to explain Hate Speech

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Mrz 092016

ARTICLE 19 has published a toolkit to explain Hate Speech, it is a guide to identifying “hate speech” and how effectively counter it, while protecting the rights to freedom of expression and equality.

The most important toolkit’s issues are: how identifying hate speech, what positive measures States can take to combating hate speech, and which types of “hate speech” should be prohibited by States.

The aim of this guide is trying to promote the rights to freedom of expression and equality, in order to create a pluralistic and democratic society, in which all human rights can be realised for all people.


Further information here


“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