Since January 2013 The Forum has been working with partners in five EU countries on the LIGHT ON Project to combat hate speech online. Our interest in hate speech grew from our Digital Activism Training for community leaders who were reluctant to speak out on social media as they were worried that they might be targeted by aggressive hate speech. As we are using Internet and social media more and more, so do racists and xenophobes. In fact, hiding behind the anonymity, they propagate hate and take advantage of freedoms in unprecedented ways. The Forum and its LIGHT ON project partners believe that we all need to take responsibility to combat hate speech online.
So far we have produced Spot Racism Online – A short practical guide on what you can do to stamp out hate speech online and how to make the best use of LIGHT ON and other resources to fight hate. With other partners we produced the Visual Database to collect symbols and pictures to raise awareness on their strong negative impact. You can contribute to this database if you spot any offensive symbols that are not already included, please follow the instruction on the website.
We have also collaborated with colleagues from United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) on an Anti-Racism Toolkit: a set of practical instruments to support law enforcement and judiciary officials, legal professionals and potential victims to recognize and report visual and verbal racist hate incidents which also available for download here.
As the project is entering its final stage we want to share our findings and tools so that you can join us in combating hate speech online. We would like to invite you to LIGHT ON Workshop at The Forum, 2 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL, on Monday, 17th November at 3:00 p.m. The Workshop will be presented by:
Jamie Bartlett, Director of The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, a collaboration between Demos and the University of Sussex. The Centre combines automated data extraction and sentiment analysis with social science statistics, analysis and ethics, to produce insightful and robust policy research. Jamie’s work focuses on the ways in which social media and modern communications and technology are changing political and social movements, with a special emphasis on terrorism and radical political movements. He has recently published a book about internet subcultures with Random House. He also writes for the Daily Telegraph on technology.
Zrinka Bralo, Director of The Forum, LIGHT ON project lead. Zrinka has designed and delivered The Forum’s Digital Activism Training and wrote the Spot Racism Online – A User Guide amongst other contributions to LIGHT ON project. Zrinka’s work focuses on rights of migrants and refugees, which includes accurate and balanced public debate and media coverage of the issues relating to immigration. She writes for the Guardian and Huffington Post and her submission to Leveson Inquiry on Press Ethics was included into recommendations report. She is the winner of Voices of Courage Award by the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York in 2011 and 2014 Churchill Fellow.
Jamie will present the results of some of his work looking at how much and what type of hate speech there is on Facebook and Twitter and Zrinka will present the work of the LIGHT ON project and tools it produced to challenge the hate speech online safely.
We hope that you will join us on the 17th November so that together we can explore how to improve our responses to the challenge of hate speech online.
Please note that places are limited. To reserve a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The LIGHT ON project is co-financed by the “Fundamental Rights and Citizenship” Programme of the European Union