Resources and publications

 

Do you want to know more about our goals? Check out below a range of resources and publications on the latest issues in regards to online hate speech.

 

Press Release – Monitoring Exercise from 6th May 2019 till 21st June 2019

A silent monitoring finds drastic decline in YouTube’s removal performance

Press release – Between 6 May 2019 and 21 June 2019, the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH) and the sCAN project jointly organised a monitoring exercise to evaluate the adherence of the IT companies Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to the Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online, developed by the European Commission in 2016.

The participating organisations reported 432 cases to the IT companies Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

To see the results in detail go check out the full Monitoring Report.

 

 


 

  • Jenseits der “Big three” : Alternative Plattformen für Hassrede onlin

In den letzten Jahren haben sich die meisten internationalen Studien von Hassrede im Internet auf jene drei Plattformen konzentriert, die traditionell als die einflussreichsten gelten: Facebook, YouTube und Twitter. Deren Einfluss als größte internationale soziale Netzwerke ist jedoch nicht mehr unum-stritten. Andere Netzwerke sind auf dem Vormarsch und vor allem junge Nutzer verlieren das Interesse an den “alten” Plattformen. Im April 2019 hatte Instagram weltweit mehr aktive Accounts als Twitter1 und lag beim weltweiten Vergleich der Seitenabrufe von Social-Media-Seiten nach Facebook, Pinte-rest, Twitter und YouTube an fünfter Stelle2. Darüber hinaus haben aktuelle Studien zur Nutzung von Social Media durch Minderjährige und junge Erwachsene gezeigt, dass Instagram für Nutzer unter 30 Jahren in mehreren Ländern wichtiger ist als Facebook3. Da Hassgruppen und Extremisten ihre Propa-ganda auf eben diese Kanäle verlagern, auf denen sie ihre Zielgruppe am ehesten erreichen können, ist es wichtig, diese Veränderungen in der Social-Media-Landschaft zu berücksichtigen.

 

  • Au-delà des « trois grands » : les alternatives aux plateformes principales

Ces dernières années, la plupart des études internationales sur les discours de haine en ligne se sont concentrées sur les trois plateformes traditionnellement considérées comme les plus influentes, à savoir Facebook, Youtube et Twitter. Toutefois, leur prédominance en tant que plus grands réseaux sociaux internationaux se voit aujourd’hui contestée. D’autres plateformes montent en puissance et les utilisateurs, surtout les plus jeunes, se désintéressent des « anciennes ». En avril 2019, Instagram comptait davantage de comptes actifs dans le monde que Twitter1 et se hissait en cinquième position en nombre d’impressions dans le monde 2 derrière Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter et Youtube. De plus, de récentes études qui se sont intéressées à l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux chez les mineurs et les jeunes adultes ont révélé qu’Instagram était plus important que Facebook chez les utilisateurs de moins de 30 ans provenant de différents pays3. Dans la mesure où les groupes haineux et les extré-mistes vont exercer leur propagande là où il leur est le plus facile d’atteindre leur public cible, il est important de prendre en compte les changements qui ont lieu dans l’univers des réseaux sociaux.

 

  • Beyond the “Big Three”: Alternative platforms for online hate speech

In recent years, most international studies on hate speech online have focused on the three platforms traditionally considered the most influential: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. However, their predominance as the biggest international social networks is no longer uncontested. Other networks are on the rise and young users especially lose interest in the ‘old’ platforms. As hate speech moderation increases on the major social media platforms, hate groups and extremists turn to other networks where community guidelines against hate speech are less strictly enforced. Some of those alternative platforms, like VK.com or Gab.ai, have acquired a broad international audience and are considered ‘safe havens’ by far-right or right-wing extremist activists. This analysis offers an overview of the most prevalent social media platforms and websites used for disseminating hate speech in the countries of the sCAN project partners.

 


 

  • sCAN Annual Report: May 2018 – June 2019

The internet is an integral part of everyday communication worldwide. While it is most often used in a peaceful manner to communicate with friends or freely express one’s opinion on a diverse range of topics, some users spread hatred and incite to violence against certain groups or persons. The international nature of the internet and its global interconnectedness necessitate a transnational approach to combat hate speech online. In order to effectively counteract cyber hate, a multidimensional approach is needed. The sCAN project, therefore, was designed to tackle three areas deemed crucial in this endeavour. This Annual Report presents the sCAN project’s results for the first project year (May 2018 – June 2019) in the three areas of combating hate speech covered by the project’s activities. Therefore, the transnational consortium, implementing the EU project sCAN – Specialised Cyber Activist Network, has 1. gathered tools and pooled resources across countries, 2. conducted joint research and monitoring excerices to achieve an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon and to make trends visible as well as it has 3. conceptualised, developed and implemented online as well as offline training courses to build capacities of NGOs and individual activists to counter hate speech in a diverse manner.

 


 

  • Diverging responsiveness on reports by trusted flaggers and general users – 4th evaluation of the EU Code of Conduct: sCAN project results

SCAN partners agree that while there is an improved effort from social media companies to remove illegal hate speech, monitoring exercises must continue with the support of European institutions in order to maintain and improve results. As users disseminating hate content increasingly moved to closed groups or to other platforms not included in the monitoring exercise, and with the changing discourse among far-right users, as they feel confident to significantly gain influence at the European elections in May 2019, it is clear that new challenges and threats are on the horizon. Continued efforts of monitoring and counter-action are pivotal in ensuring a safe and respectful online space across the EU and beyond.


 

  • Mapping Study: “Countering online hate speech with automated monitoring tools”

This report aims at presenting, defining and analysing existing automated tools to monitor online hateful content as well as its limits beyond the spread of online hatespeech across the Web 1.0 and 2.0. The report provides an in-deep analysis of ways in monitoring online hate speech that are available and straightforward for individual experts, non-profit organisations and Human rights activists. Automated intelligent technologies that provide to CSO’s, decision makers and online activists a better environment in conducting monitoring project are at the heart of a new way to tackle any form of hate speech across the World Wide Web, including social media. In this mapping study, we will analyse which tools are available to individuals to counter hate speech and how to improve the prospects of removal of reported hate speech.


 

  • A Hate Ontology for better understanding of key definitions

With this publication, the sCAN project partners, namely LICRA (France), Human Rights House Zagreb (Croatia), jugendschutz.net (Germany), CESIE (Italy), Zara – Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit (Austria), University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences (Slovenia), ROMEA (Czech Republic), and the Latvian Centre for Human Rights (Latvia), bring their contribution to the further expansion of the body of knowledge and literature on online hate speech, to enable researchers, cyber activists, and the civil society representatives to better recognise and contrast the phenomenon of cyber hate.


 

  • Analytical Paper: Antigypsyism on the internet

Sinti and Romani people have been living in Europe for more than six centuries. The history of antigypsyist rhetoric, discrimination and political persecution is just as long. Even though many countries have by now recognized Sinti and Roma as a national minority, intolerance remains and deeply embedded stereotypes still have a severe impact on the lives and opportunities of persons affected by antigypsyism. Today most antigypsyist rhetoric takes place online. In the analysed countries, criminalisation, welfare chauvinism and de-humanisation are the most common narratives. They are spread on Social Media, but also in (online) media outlets and the comment sections of articles and videos. Frequent tools used to spread antigypsyism are fake news reports and decontextualized images and videos.

The main narratives of antigypsyism online mirror the historical stereotypes and narratives that have been used for discrimination and persecution of Romani and other communities perceived as ‘gypsies’ for centuries. Criminalisation and construction of Sinti and Romani people as ‘beggars’ and ‘travelling communities’ who are unable or unwilling to integrate serve as excuses to call for discriminatory treatment and exclusion from the social aid system. Interestingly, the notion of ‘travelling communities’ remains a widespread stereotype, despite the majority of Sinti and Romani people living a sedentary life. The de-humanisation expressed in many comments on Social Media platforms and online media outlets often leads to calls for violence and even genocide.
Fake news and the de-contextualisation of images and videos is a popular tool to disseminate antigypsyist narratives and incite hostility against Sinti and Romani people. Most of those fake news stories are built around alleged special benefits for those communities.

Social Media, especially Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, are still the platforms most commonly used to spread antigypsyist hate speech. Discussions in comment sections of YouTube videos and beneath the articles of online media outlets often become platforms for de-humanisation and incitement to violence. Biased media reporting reinforces existing negative stereotypes. A special responsibility also lies with politicians and other public figures.

In order to combat antigypsyism efficiently, the existing cooperation between Romani representatives, Civil Society Organisations, Internet Service Providers and public authorities needs to be strengthened. Media should take care to provide unbiased reporting on Sinti and Romani people as well as other marginalised minorities. Reliable moderation is needed in online discussion forums and the comment sections of online media outlets in order to prevent hateful content from reproducing hostilities and dominating the discussions.

Read the full report by clicking here.

German version available here

French version available here.