SPECIAL INITIATIVE by CoE
Stop Hate Speech Online: Campaign of the Council of Europe
Young People Combating Hate Speech Online
This Europe-wide campaign is a project against hate speech, racism and discrimination online. Initiated and run by the Council of Europe, it stands for equality, dignity, human rights and diversity. The campaign is against expressions of hate speech online in all its forms, including those that most affect young people, such as forms of cyber-bullying and cyber-hate.
The Internet has become a global space for communication and participation. Online, we can create, upload, comment, share and use media content in many ways and with very little effort. Internet users have a right to perceive their online interactions as benefitting from the freedoms of expression and information. However, reality tells us that the online world is also a space where the values of human rights are often ignored or violated. Among others, hate speech online has become a major form of human rights abuse, with very serious consequences for people, both online and offline. Young people are directly concerned as victims, targets, active and passive agents.
“Hate speech, as defined by the Council of Europe, covers all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin.”
Online Campaign tools
• www.nohatespeechmovement.org is an online platform with testimonials of young people, including self-made videos and photos. Here you can sign petitions, and learn how to take action. Moderation is organised among young activists. On the Blog, activities carried out in the framework of national campaigns and European activities are shared. In the Forum, activists and members of the Movement discuss issues arising from the Hate Speech Watch – the perfect place for online activists!
• Hate Speech Watch is an online database to report, monitor, share, and discuss hate speech content found on the Internet. Moderators facilitate discussion and create focus topics every month.
• Campaign Coordination Website: if your organisation wants to join the Campaign, there is a portal with campaign material and the latest campaign information. Here you can also find the Campaign Toolkit: It provides practical and methodological support in online campaigning.
• Bookmarks, a campaign pack for secondary schools to support teachers and educators in addressing online hate speech with students and to involve them in the campaign. National and regional training courses, based on Bookmarks, are organised to develop the competences of teachers and facilitators in non-formal education and to tackle the issues of the campaign.
Want to find out more on why it is important to take action against hate speech? Have a look at the presentation of Gavan Titley from the National University of Ireland at: