Increased Awareness and Cooperation Through Comparison and Knowledge Transfer

Article published in the ZARA Racism Report 2018 about the EU project sCAN – Specialised Cyber-Activists Network

Main focus: Performing research on online hate speech and, thus, actively fighting it

Ten organisations from nine European countries – LICRA (France), CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe (Belgium), Human Rights House Zagreb (Croatia), Romea (Czech Republic), Respect Zone (France), (Germany), Latvian Centre for Human Rights (Latvia), Spletno oko (Slovenia), CESIE (Italy) and ZARA – Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Work, advised by the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH) – have joined forces to find out more about the phenomenon of online hate speech by exchanging and transferring information, knowledge and experiences, to counteract this phenomenon on a large scale and to make the findings available to the public in a transparent manner.

The EU project sCAN is all about knowledge gain, exchange, transfer and innovation. It does not only focus on the content level but also on the technological level and aims at making hate speech on the internet easily recognisable in order to counteract this phenomenon effectively.

Together with many other organisations, all ten project partners – which are embedded within the university as well as the civil society context – are participating in four monitoring phases carried out by the European Commission that aim at keeping an eye on the behaviour of large IT companies in order to ensure that they adhere to the promises made by signing the “Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online.” Furthermore, the sCAN partners make use of these phases to collect and publish findings from the monitoring activities that the European Commission is not able to evaluate.

A big part of the project still lies ahead of us, but we took the first important steps and are looking forward to many more interesting findings and comparisons. On the initiative of all organisations involved, further activities will be developed and prepared innovatively. So far, for example, the project “Facing Facts!” by CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe has shared its knowledge concerning online courses on hate crimes and hate speech with all consortium partners. Within only three months, it was thereby possible to extend an existing English online course on hate speech and counter-narratives with national insights and trends and to offer it also in German and French. 


This article was published in the annual ZARA Racism Report 2018 (p. 37) on March 21st 2019, the International Day Against Racism.


For the German version “Hate Speech – Was
tun!” see here.



Anna Schreilechner, BA, studied African studies at the University of Vienna and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in political sciences. In addition to her public relations work for ZARA, she is responsible for the coordination of transnational cooperations and occupies herself in depth with the phenomena of hate crimes and hate speech within the framework of the EU projects “V-START – Victim Support Through Awareness-Raising and neTworking” and “sCAN – Specialised CyberActivists Network.”


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