Do’s and don’ts against online hate speech

Debat om had på nettet på den nordiske scene ved bogmessen i Helsinki, oktober 2016. Fra venstre er det Ejler Nyhavn (digter), Peter Mickwitz (forfatter), Liljan Weihe (nyhedschef), Reeta Pöyhtäri (forsker), Heikki Jokinen (journalist, moderator)

Hatred is an increasing challenge in online debates. Nordic organizations had hate speech on the agenda at the Helsinki Book Fair, October 2016.

Tekst og foto: Mogens Blicher Bjerregård

There was a general agreement on the Nordic scene and among the audience that we need mechamisms to counter online hatred. One of the tools should be this set of guidelines, which were launched at the Nordic session “Poetry countering hate speech”:

1. Don’t promote

Self-regulation. Never leave it to the state to make judgements on media ethics as it will lead to censorship, but take responsibility in the media not to promote hate speech.

2. Speak out

Develop mechanisms of early warnings of hate speech online and share information and best practice.

5. Report

Never accept hate speech, report it each time. We should tackle online abuses by prompt actions. A threat online should be addressed exactly as we address threats offline – by an immediate response and report to the authorities.

4. Never let victims alone

Never let victims of hate speech alone, but identify dedicated colleagues to whom victims always can report safely about abuses and threats, they have received online.

6. Employers, take action

Ensure that employers and other persons in leading positions always will have a serious approach and will firmly take action, when they learn about victims of hate speech.

8. Dialogue with Social Media owners

Create dialogue with the owners and editors of social media platform as they must take responsibility to take partnership in countering hate speech.

9. Confront hate speakers

Create dialogue and confrontation when hate speech authors are identified regardless of they are individuals or in groups or organizations.

2. Chose pluralism for censorship

Stay away from censoring, but support and develop pluralism in media, as it will reduce propaganda media to one out of a range of media, and that will reduce the extent of hate speech.

10. Media literacy

More and more people – and not only the young – get their news through social media and online comments in particular. Universities – and Schools of Journalism and writing should comprehensively reflect this. We should have a common approach on this together with the educational sector.

7. Go international

As hate speech happens cross border, international authors’, journalists’ and media organizations should in common develop guidelines to counter hate speech in general and with an approach to social media in particular.

Read (Danish): Bogmesse mod online trusler og had