Young People Combating Hate Speech in Cybercrime

DDCP-YD/CHS (2013) 3
Strasbourg, 18 January 2013
(2012) 1
Strasbourg, 13 January 2012
Young People Combating Hate
Speech On-line
Making on-line public space safer by mobilizing young
people for human rights, launching a media youth
campaign against hate speech in cyberspace and
elaborating policy guidelines
Follow-Up Group
Third Meeting
European Youth Centre, Strasbourg, 22-23 January 2013
Room 5.1
Progress Report
on the Implementation of the Project
The project Young People Combating Hate Speech Online is fully part of the programme of
activities of the Youth Department for 2012 and 2013. Most of the activities carried out so far
have had a preparatory nature:
developing a better understanding of the issues and how to approach them;
preparing partners and activists
informing, advocating and mobilising resources
I. Activities implemented in 2012
1. Three mapping studies about hate speech online, media campaigns and about existing
projects against hate speech online. The studies indicate that there are some projects
from which we can learn, but there are very few that intersect the three main definitions
of the project: hate speech, online and youth. The three studies were published in a
booklet in December 21012 and available in hard copies and can be downloaded from
the preparatory website .
2. Consultative Meeting about the project, January 2012. The Consultative meeting gave a
direction to the project and made proposals about how to prepare the project and the
3. Training course for bloggers and online human rights activists. These are people who
should play a central role in the campaign. The training seminar was held in May and
the learning continued online.
4. Presentation of the project at the European Dialogue on Internet Governance
(EuroDIG), Stockholm, June 2012. The presentation was made during a workshop at the
conference; important contacts were made with youth organisations. The project became
associated closer to Internet Governance matters in the Council of Europe. An
interesting cooperation was initiated with youth organisations active in the New Media
Summer School, including the European Youth Foundation.
5. Participation in youth forum of the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace, 4-5 October.
Some 100 young people participated in the Forum and discussed issues like how the
Internet and the use of cyberspace can contribute to employment, growth and
development and how to use its social benefits and assert human rights and promoting
participation. The Youth Department supported the forum with facilitation and the
project was also supported.
6. Pilot online survey about young people’s and hate speech. The survey was responded
by some 1200 people; its results of the survey are available on the preparatory website.
It is hoped that the results and experience can be used by the national campaign
7. Preparatory seminar for the campaign (10-12 October). The seminar was organised to
consult potential partners for the campaign and to agree on common guidelines for the
campaign preparation and implementation. More than 70 young experts and youth
workers from all around Europe developed ideas and projects for the campaign. The
campaign elements were critically discussed and close to 100 recommendations were
collected including the following areas:
Ensuring active participation
European-wide campaign events
National campaigns
Involving schools
Educational material
Researches and evaluation
The executive summary of results are available on the preparatory website. The
preparatory seminar was also important to associate other sectors and bodies of the
Council of Europe to the project.
8. A workshop about the project was organised at the Internet Governance Forum, Baku,
6-8 November. The workshop explored the tensions and dilemmas of human rights
online activists who use the Internet to promote a culture of universal human rights and,
at the same time, are confronted with various forms of hate speech online. The
workshop attracted were 45 participants from all around the world; it was important to
confront European and other perspectives on this issue. The chairwoman of the
Advisory Council presented the project, with the support of other young people. The
European Youth Forum provided very useful support to the workshop organisation.
The outcomes of the workshop were presented to the plenary session Safety, Protection
and Privacy where hate speech and freedom of expression were the main issues debated.
9. Workshop on Acting and Campaigning against hate speech, Budapest, 22-24
November, carried out with the support of the EEA-Norway Grants. At the end of the
three days, the participants developed ideas for future actions they would like to
organise against hate speech online and offline, linked to the Council of Europe’s
project Young People Combating Hate Speech Online, and produced guidelines and
quality criteria for such types of projects. They also discussed what support they would
need in order to implement their projects against hate speech from the Council of
Europe, from EEA and Norway Grants and from their fellow participants. The workshop
hosted 50 participants, 15 lecturers and resource parsons and were facilitated by 4
The EEA Norway Grants pledged support for the projects of the participants and to the
national campaigns through the NGO Grants programme. The campaign was also
presented at a meeting with national grant operators where the same pledge was made.
This may be a very relevant support for campaigns in member states covered by the
NGO Grants programme.
10. Participation in the conference “Tackling hate speech: Living together online” jointly
co-organised by the Council of Europe and the EEA-Norway Grants on 27 and 28
November in Budapest. The Secretary General announced the campaign at the
conference and invited other partners and institutions to join and support the campaign.
Shannon Stephens presented the campaign on behalf of the Follow-Up Group; the
results of the workshop with bloggers and online activists were presented by Nicole
Currie. Sergio Belfor and Laurence Hermand also took part in the conference.
The youth project is one of the main ways of following up the conference. Some
partners expressed interest in being associated with the campaign (Facebook, PEN
International...). A draft report is sent to the members of the Follow-Up Group.
11. Two study sessions at the European Youth Centre, with the Human Rights Education
Youth Network “Responding to hate – learning to protect human rights online”, and
with UNITED for Intercultural Action, “Step In! Be active against racist propaganda
and hate speech”.
Both study sessions discussed ways of getting involved in the campaign and made
several proposals on content and activities. The participants can play an important role
in national and European activities.
12. Special (pilot) projects supported by the European Youth Foundation. Out of the 51
applications received, 36 were approved for a total budget of € 160,300. The projects
were meant to prepare the campaign at national level through the preparation of
partnerships and through learning about hate speech online.
The organisers of the projects were invited to take up contact with the CDEJ members in
their countries in order to take part in the preparations of the national campaigns.
Similarly, the contacts of the organisers are available in the site of the campaign and
they can be contacted directly by the initiators of the committees.
13. Follow-up Group meetings. There were two Follow-up Group meetings in 2012.The
group was created at the initiative of the Joint Council on Youth based also on the
conclusions of the Consultative meeting held in January 2012. One important role of the
group is to advice and support the implementation of the project, particularly the
campaign, especially because the project proved to be more complicated than initially
assessed when the Advisory Council proposal came in 2011. The group reported back to
the Joint Council. Among the most important decisions and contributions of the first two
Special projects by the European Youth Foundation
Review of the strategic objectives and expected outcomes of the project
Prevarication of the online survey
Implementation of the campaign preparatory seminar,
Selection of the consultancy company for the campaign
II. Activities in progress
1. Research
Dr Gavan Titley was contracted to conduct further research to bridge gaps in the
understanding of key issues related to hate speech online and youth. The draft of his
study which is to be completed by the end of January. The study will cover the
following points:
Who posts ‘hate speech’, and how can it be understood as an online
social and political practice?
Who is targeted, in what different and overlapping ways, in different
contexts? In which ways are young people particularly targeted, any
different patterns in relation to other social and age groups?
How do different sites, formats and opportunities shape the nature of
the articulation and interaction around hate speech.
How do people recognize and work with the idea of hate speech when
no single agreed definition is at work, and where strong legitimating
discourses deny the existence of hate speech historical explanation?
What can be concluded and proposed as effective approaches to
counter hate speech online?
Dr Titley will also make proposals about further research proposals and methods for
evaluation of the campaign.
2. Campaign strategy, online tools and visual identity
Preparatory works are in progress on the campaign strategy, the online Campaign
tools and its visual identity by Latte Creative. The visual identity met lots of
challenges, but there is a good proposal that reflects the complexity of the Campaign
objectives. An introductory video has been prepared as well as a first version of a
brochure about the campaign. Two meetings with the project coordinators from Latte
Creative have been held.
Latte is now working on the development of the structure for the online platform and
Hate Speech Watch.
3. Online Educational Tools
Two educational online tools are under preparation, as proposed by the Preparatory
Seminar. A third tool - Toolkit for Campaign Activists - is to be developed later.
Online learning tool on hate speech. The purpose of this tool is to allow those
young people who are or may become interested in the campaign to learn more about
hate speech and why it is important to combat it. The module will thus provide “basic
and essential” knowledge and awareness about hate speech and hate speech online.
Campaign Toolkit for organisation. The toolkit will support youth organisations and
to learn how the Campaign is operating and give support in getting involved in the
Campaign. The online tool should provide good understanding about the Campaign
and its tools, and give concrete practical and methodological support.
4. National Campaign Committees or support groups.
A letter inviting member states to initiate the setting up national campaign was sent by
the Director General of Democracy on the 10th December to all CDEJ members
structures. Organisations who have expressed interested in the national campaign
structure have been invited to contact the CDEJ members. Guidelines for national
campaign structures were developed based on the outcomes of the preparatory
A separate document has been prepared with the state of affairs of the national
campaign committees.
5. Campaign Website
The preparatory website was made operational at the end of November; t provides
documents and up to date information about the Campaign and its preparations
This site will remain as the institutional youth site of the campaign and the project,
while the Online campaign platform and the Hate Speech Watch will be hosted and
maintained by Latte Creative.
6. Study session 2013
The Programming Committee approved four study sessions for 2013 that are directly
connected to the project or the campaign in the programme of activities of the
European Youth Centre:
Service Civil International ivzw (SCI) - “Occupy Peace Online”
(27 January – 3 February 2013, European Youth Centre Strasbourg)
European Youth Press - “World Perspectives: Minority Voices”
(21 – 28 April 2013, European Youth Centre Budapest )
Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Integration - Hate Speech in Video Games
Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe - Navigating Out of the
Web of Violence
(Venue and dates are still to be agreed with the organisations).
A particular attention will be devoted to linking the sessions with the programme of
the campaign and to activities of the Council of Europe related to Internet
7. Hate Speech Essay Competition with ELSA
The Online Hate Speech Essay Competition is a project of ELSA (European Law
Students Association) and the Council of Europe. Its topic is “On-line Hate Speech:
right or crime? Legal issues in the virtual world - Who is responsible for online hate
speech and what legislation exists that can be applied to react, counter or punish forms
of hate speech online?”. The Essay Competition will be open to all law students from
all Council of Europe’s Member States and all ELSA members.
The secretariat will make proposals regarding the formalisation of partnerships with
European youth organisations for the campaign or specific activities in its
programme. This should give visibility and relevance to the work of European
organisations which do not have direct activities in the campaign’s programme and are
neither visible in the programme of national campaign committees.
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