• Alex Dingwall

Say 'No' to Hate Speech

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights welcome the news that the Council of Europe has launched a campaign against the growing problem of hate speech online.

The No Hate Speech Movement will aim to tackle all forms of racism and discrimination on the internet by helping young people and youth organisations to recognise and act against this latest form of human rights violation. The rise in the use of hate speech – in social media, forums, chat rooms and elsewhere online – has prompted some commentators to label the digital phenomenon as a new form of human rights abuse.

The Campaign

Hate speech is threatening our democracies. To tackle hate speech, it is vital for people to campaign, to act together to uphold human rights online, to raise awareness, change attitudes and mobilise communities. Campaigning is a way of bringing people together, united by common goals and values. The Council of Europe has a proud tradition of running youth campaigns, notably its All Different – All Equal campaign. The No Hate Speech Movement is open to everyone online. Young people can join from the age of 13. It is based on online communities of young people motivated to discuss and act against hate speech online. The campaign was launched on 21 March 2013 and will run through to April 2014.

A Youth Campaign

The campaign has been shaped through several consultations with young people and youth representatives, ensuring it is a campaign by and with young people. Young people aged between 13 and 30 will play the lead role in the campaign by taking part in online and offline activities and in being its most important advocates. It is addressed to everyone.

A campaign for Human Rights based on Freedom of Expression

The campaign is not designed to limit freedom of expression online. Neither is it about everyone being nice to each other online. The campaign is against hate speech online in all its forms, including those that most affect young people, such as cyber-bullying and cyber-hate. The campaign is based upon human rights education, youth participation and media literacy.

A Multi-Faceted Campaign

The goals of the campaign are:

  • To raise awareness about hate speech online and its risks for democracy and for individual young people

  • To promote 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 consensus on European policy instruments combating hate speech

  • To develop youth participation and citizenship online

Although based online, the campaign will also have an important offline dimension, with seminars, youth events and festivals. Local and linguistic differences are crucial, so the online campaign has been designed to allow fornational, cultural and linguistic diversity. The campaign will highlight the importance of involving school communities as well as non-formal education and youth work.

For more information about the campaign please visit: http://www.nohatespeechmovement.org/.

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