Internet offers us the possibility to create, publish, distribute and consume media content fostering therefore a space of full participation, engagement and self-expression. With the development of social networks we all can participate in cyberspace in a variety of ways ranging from keeping in touch with your friends and developing new contacts to sharing content and exploring your self-expression. This online space gives us new opportunities: engaging with others for causes that we care for. But we may equally be victim and agent of abuse and human rights violations, among them, hate speech in various forms and cyberbullying. The online world is not without values either. Hate speech* as such is not a new issue on the Internet, nor in the human rights debate. Its online dimension and the potential damage on democratic processes gives us all new reasons to act.
“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.”
The Campaign is part of the project Young People Combating Hate Speech Online running between 2012 and 2014. The project stands for equality, dignity, human rights and diversity. It is a project against hate speech, racism and discrimination in their online expression.
The working methods are awareness raising, advocacy, and it also seeks for creative solutions. It is a project for action and intervention. The project equips young people and youth organisations with the competences necessary to recognize and act against such human rights violations.
The whole project is a tribute to youth participation and co-management. It was born from a proposal of the youth representatives of the Advisory Council on Youth and was endorsed by the Joint Council on Youth, which brings together the members of the Advisory Council on Youth and the governmental youth representatives of the European Steering Committee on Youth. For more details on the project you can visit the Campaign coordination site.
Strategic dimensions of the Campaign
The campaign is not run to limit freedom of expression online. Neither is it against hatred online and nor about being nice to each other online.
The campaign is against the 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 campaign is based upon human rights education, youth participation and media literacy. It aims at reducing hate speech and at combating racism and discrimination in their online expression.
Objectives of the campaign
- To raise awareness about hate speech online and its risks for democracy and for individual young people, and promoting media and Internet literacy;
- To support young people in standing up for human rights, online and offline;
- To reduce the levels of acceptance of online hate speech;
- To mobilise, train and network online youth activists for human rights;
- To map hate speech online and develop tools for constructive responses;
- To support and show solidarity to people and groups targeted by hate speech online;
- To advocate for the development and consensus on European policy instruments combating hate speech;
- To develop yout participation and citizenship online;
The campaign is initiated and run by the Council of Europe but it is based on national campaigns run in the member states of the Council of Europe.
National governments were invited to initiate the setting up of National Campaign Committees. National committees will operate their own national online Campaign platforms and online tools in the national language(s). The Council of Europe provides all tools that are described in the following section free of charge.
You can find the link to national campaigns here.
Online Campaign tools
NO HATE SPEECH MOVEMENT LANDING PAGE
This is an online platform for everyone interested to join the No Hate Hate Speech Movement. Here you can upload your personal statement or message about hate speech. This site is the main landing page of the Campaign available for the widest public with testimonials through self-made videos, photos or other visual manifestations. Young moderators are working behind the site to ensure aspects of safety and respect.
The Terms of Service can be consulted here.
HATE SPEECH WATCH
This is an online database to monitor, share and discuss hate speech content of the Internet. Here you can link in any hate speech content form the Internet. Moderators monitor and facilitate the site, creating focus topics every month based on the main interest of the online community. Special “take action” features will also be available if the identified and discussed hate speech content requires further action. The perfect place debating and taking action!
CAMPAIGN COORDINATION WEBSITE
If your organisation wants to join the Campaign, you can do that through this website. It is the portal for Campaign organisers and activists with updated information about the work behind the Campaign.
Online educational tools
Online Campaign Toolkit: this tool is to help anyone to get involved in the Campaign. It provides knowledge and information about the Campaign and its media, and gives concrete practical and methodological support in online Campaigning.
Learning Module on Hate Speech: If you want to understand further what hate speech is about, and to be able to identify hate speech online this tool gives the support you need. The module provides “basic and essential” knowledge about hate speech and hate speech online.
School Campaign Pack: If you are a student in a secondary school or a teacher who works there this online tool supports promoting the campaign and action in your school environment. It helps discussing online hate speech with students, getting involved in a European competition among secondary school students on hate speech online and cyber bullying, introducing the online Campaign tools in the schools and involving your school.
Main European Campaign Events in 2013
|Workshop for National Campaign Coordinators, Brussels||13-14 March|
|European Launching, Strasbourg and online||21-22 March|
|European Seminar for Moderators, Budapest||15-16 April|
|Training course for Bloggers and online activists, Budapest||6-14 April|
|European Action Days*||April-December|
|European Seminar for online activists||September (to be set)|
|European Campaign Conference, Strasbourg||6-8 November|
EUROPEAN ACTION DAYS
Throughout the Campaign several Action Days will focus on different aspects of and targets of hate speech. Each Action Day will have a special programme and online activities coordinated by international youth organisations. Dates and topics of the action days will be communicated through the Campaign websites.
For further details or questions you can contact the Campaign secretariat by email to firstname.lastname@example.org