IGF 2018 WS #80 Hack the Hate: Empower society to face hate speech

Format: 

Panel - 90 Min

Subtheme: 

Organizer 1: Henri Isaac,
Organizer 2: Sasha Havlicek, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Organizer 3: Cécile Coudriou, Amnesty International France

Speaker 1: Sasha Havlicek, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Guy Berger, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 3: Nicolas Vanderbiest, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Susan Benesch, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Henri Isaac, ,

Additional Speakers: 

1. Speakers (conference part):

- Tonei Glavinic, Director of operations of the Dangerous Speech Project (United States of America);

- Alexandria Walden, Free expression and human rights at Google (United States of America);

- Nalaka Gunawardene is a leading commentator and analyst on social, cultural and political impacts of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Sri Lanka (South Asia). 

- Robi Chacha, Program Officer under the Safety & Dignity Program at Amnesty International (Kenya);
 

Moderator (conference part): 

- Sasha Havlicek, CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (United-Kingdom).

2. Project founders (pitch part):

- Guillaume Buffet, Founder of the Seriously project and Vice-president of Renaissance Numérique (France). He will present the seriously platform (www.seriously.ong) : a tool and a method to pacify online discussions;

- Louis Brooke from Breakthrough Media (United-Kingdom). He will present the activities of the company. This private company works closely with the UK government and the civil society in order to co-create online campaigns and movements that address complex social challenges, including extremism;

- Cristiana Lucaci, Vice President of Group of the European Youth for Change (Romania). She will present an innovating educational program on online civic education;

Christine Vidal, President of the association Le Bal (France). She will present the work made by her association in a classroom called “the truly identity of cats”.

Relevance: 

Internet’s potential for virality and the platform it provides to those aiming to spread extremist trends, including divisive narratives and hate speeches across the ideological spectrum, forces modern societies to rethink its policy framework and redefine its practices.  Reporting tools are often seen as the main action levers, but are not sufficient to sustainably tackle the whole phenomenon. The priority should be to equip and empower citizens with methods and tools enabling them to take impactful action against hate online.

This session will address important policy issues and operational responses like:

●      Hate speech regulation and “the grey area” (cf. infographic enclosed);

●      The complementary approach between States initiatives, platforms and civil society’s involvement;

●      Digital literacy.

Session Content: 

The emergence of the Internet, and more recently social networks, has considerably changed the way ideas are produced and how they circulate. By broadening the opportunity offered to each of us to express ourselves and take part in many different debates, on a global scale, society’s digital networking paves the way for a real discursive democracy. However, despite the unprecedented democratic upheaval and communication progress it represents, this new environment also marks the end of gatekeepers - until then considered the most credible ‘institutions’ to express public opinions -  and the emergence of new public opinions. This is why groups that did not previously have access to public platforms and could not practice public speech, have developed a worrying strike force on the Internet.

The current approach, prioritizing regulation of the issue by solely focusing resources on law-making , faces major pitfalls. On the one hand, the coercive mobilization of the judicial system leads public actors to promote worrisome policies (legislative inflation, risk of privatization of justice). On the other hand, this approach doesn’t allow the whole issue to be tackled, especially with respect to  online hate speeches located in a legal “grey area” (for which a legal qualification is very difficult or nonexistent, e.g. stereotypes, prejudices, expressions of intolerance). Although it’s important to recognize and respect Law’s contribution and role of necessary legal framework in this sphere as in any other fundamental debate shaping society, it is also key to encourage additional and complementary solutions, in particular with regards to the need to strengthen civil society and citizens’ involvement.

This new dimension of the debate will be a major democratic step forward. This approach needs to be supported by trainings and education, especially for the youth, and requires providing them with access to tools and methods alleviating the current difficulties in order to pacify online conversations’ spaces.

This session seeks an open discussion from the participants on the following issues with a two-part approach:

1.     Civil society and citizens’ involvement

○      Why is law regulation insufficient to solve the entire phenomenon?

○      How can we enhance civil society and citizens’ involvement?

○      Do tools complementing law regulation to tackle online hate speech exist?

○      What are the best practices and successful strategies from civil society worldwide?

2.     Education

○      How to educate and protect the youth with digital rights and digital citizenship?

○      What are the best practices and successful strategies from civil society worldwide?

○      What kind of new educational approaches (concepts, tools, methods) are adapted to our digital age?

○      What role can the different sectors play (Government, Private Sector, Civil Society)?

Some specific methods, tools and approaches are part of existing innovative projects. This session will highlight some of the most innovative projects operating around the world to counteract online hate speech. Each session of the two-part discussion will be opened by the presentation of two selected projects (by their founders) in order to introduce the following debate and inspire participants

Interventions: 

1. Speakers (Conference part):

- Tonei Glavinic, Director of operations of the Dangerous Speech Project (United States of America); he will talk about the law regulation, its shortfalls and quirks. He will also present the Dangerous speech concept which allows us to have a larger consensus about the frame and a better global response to the phenomenon.

- Alexandria Walden, Free expression and human rights at Google (United States of America); she will present the position of the private sector, particularly the Google's action in struggling the hate speech. She will also evoke the Global Network Initiative.

- Nalaka Gunawardene is a leading commentator and analyst on social, cultural and political impacts of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Sri Lanka (South Asia); he will evoke the hate speech point of view from Sri Lanka.

- Robi Chacha, Program Officer under the Safety & Dignity Program at Amnesty International (Kenya); he will present the African vision of fighting hate speech, in particular through his experience in as Campaign Officer at Amnesty International. 
 

Moderator (Conference part): 

- Sasha Havlicek, CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (United-Kingdom).

2. Project founders (Pitch part):

- Guillaume Buffet, Founder of the Seriously project and Vice-president of Renaissance Numérique (France). He will present the seriously platform (www.seriously.ong) : a tool and a method to pacify online discussions;

- Louis Brooke from Breakthrough Media (United-Kingdom). He will present the activities of the company. This private company works closely with the UK government and the civil society in order to co-create online campaigns and movements that address complex social challenges, including extremism;

- Cristiana Lucaci, Vice President of Group of the European Youth for Change (Romania). She will present an innovating educational program on online civic education;

Christine Vidal, President of the association Le Bal (France). She will present the work made by her association in a classroom called “the truly identity of cats”.

Diversity: 

The panel has been designed carefully keeping in mind gender parity and region diversity of individuals who work on these issues across the world with different cultures of regulation, approaches and experiences. Note that Renaissance Numerique is a stakeholder (member of steering committee) of the French Chapter of the IGF, but has not yet contributed to the global IGF.

Online Participation: 

Renaissance Numérique and the co-organizers will set up online participation tools:

-       On internal networks: Before and after the event, Renaissance Numerique and the co-organizers will promote discussions, speakers and most relevant points through their internal networks.

-       On social networks: relevant hashtags on Twitter (#IGF2018 and #HackTheHate), Facebook Live. During talks, a dedicated person will be in charge of both facilitating the visibility of the event and sharing the questions on Twitter.

Renaissance Numérique and the co-organizers will also give the floor to the audience present in the conference room. A microphone will be circulated in the room by two persons. The moderator will alternate the speaking between speakers and participants to facilitate the interactivity and dynamism of the exchanges.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session will start with a (very) short briefing by the moderator which captures the background and objectives of the discussion and introduce the coming speakers.

1) Why and how to strengthen the civil society and citizens involvement? (45’ in total)

The session will start with the presentation of two selected projects (by their founders) to open the first part of the debate (civil society and citizens involvement) and inspire the participants through their innovative project. Note that each one of the two founders will have 5 minutes to present their initiative (10’ in total).

Then, the first part of the conference (25’) will take place. Note that each one of the four speakers will have 5 minutes in average to present their view on the topic/problem previously highlighted.

To conclude the first part of the debate, the moderator will open the first Q&A session online and offline and select the top online questions and feedbacks. The moderator will select the appropriate speaker to answer each specific question in a balanced way, expect for questions addressed personally.
 

2) What kind of new educational approaches are adapted to our  digital age? (45’ in total)

The second part of the session will start with the presentation of another two selected projects (by their founders) to introduce the following debate (Education) and inspire the participants through their innovative project. Note that each one of the two founders will have 5 minutes to present their initiative (10’ in total).

Then, the second part of the conference (25’) will take place. Note that each one of the four speakers will have 5 minutes in average to present their view on the topic/problem previously highlighted.

To conclude the second part of the debate, the moderator will open the second Q&A session online and offline and select the top online questions and feedbacks. The moderator will select the appropriate speaker to answer each specific question in a balanced way, expect for questions addressed personally.

The last minutes will serve to make a global overview of the discussion and the most relevant points discussed by speakers and participants.

Onsite Moderator: 

Guillaume Buffet will moderate the session.

Online Moderator: 

Mike Fedida, Manager of the Seriously Project, Renaissance Numérique.

Rapporteur: 

Student(s) from Master's programme in Peace Studies at Paris-Dauphine University.

Report: 

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Panel/Workshop

 

- Title: “Hack the Hate: Empower society to face Hate Speech”

 

- Date & Time: 11.12.2018; 11.50 AM-1.20 PM

 

- Organizer(s):

Henri Isaac, Renaissance Numérique

Sasha Havlicek, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

Cécile Coudriou, Amnesty International France

 

- Chair/Moderator:

Sasha Havlicek, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

 

- Rapporteur/Notetaker:

Mike Fedida, Renaissance Numérique

 

- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

 

Louis Brooke (male), International Managing Director of Breakthrough Media (United-Kingdom)

Guillaume Buffet (male), Vice-president of Renaissance Numérique and Founder of the Seriously project (France)

Robi Chacha (male), Program officer of Amnesty International (Kenya)

Tonei Glavinic (male), Director of operations of the Dangerous Speech Project (United States of America)

Nalaka Gunawardene (male), Journalist, communication specialist (Sri Lanka)

Cristiana Lucaci (female), Vice-president of Group of the European of the Youth for Change (Romania)

Delphine Schram (female), Member of the association Le Bal (France)

Alexandria Walden (female), Public policy & Government relations Advisor of Google (United States of America)

 

- Theme (as listed here): Cybersecurity, Trust and Privacy

 

- Subtheme (as listed here): Hate Speech

 

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [150 words or less]

 

  • It is a particularly difficult task to define what a hate speech is and, therefore particularly difficult to adapt a specific and pertinent answer to that phenomenon.
  • No sector alone can manage these challenges, and this requires a holistic approach.
  • It is necessary to educate all those stakeholders, should they be citizens, corporations, or policy makers.

 

- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [150 words]

 

A discussion has been held on the difficulty to differentiate a hate speech from the freedom to tell an unpopular opinion. Platforms give us ability to communicate worldwide but also give rise to polarising discourses; in this sort of space there is no model to work together, governments, brands, civil society actors...

 

During the debate, a consensus appeared on the fact that regulation can’t, by itself, be the only solution to tackle hate speech. Removal of content has been at the heart of government initiatives, raises a range of important challenges that need to be taken on board; but content removal can’t be the full answer to this problem. There is a wider challenge in terms of free speech. Problem moves from big platforms to smaller platforms. And there is the evolving landscape of online platforms.

 

Through four projects, designed to tackle hate speech, the discussion focused on two main solutions: collaboration and education. On the one hand, collaboration between civil society, academics, governments and private sector has been recognised by all speakers as one of the most important steps to tackle hate speech. On the other hand, through education of all stakeholders, resilience to social harms can be built. To achieve that objective, and as a conclusion, most participants also agreed on the importance of individual actions.

 

- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [100 words]

 

Regarding the issue discussed, two main solutions have been brought to the debate:

  • Firstly, by educating policy makers, NGOs, citizens and corporations and creating a collaboration between them.
  • Secondly, on a technical level, developing further tools which empower citizens and creating new reporting systems.

 

- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [75 words]

 

  • Sharing the best practices, tools of civil society around the world and allowing them to be disseminated in other countries, adapted to local context.
  • Encouraging international partnerships on these experiences.

 

- Please estimate the total number of participants.

 

120

 

- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

 

50-50

Session Time: 
Monday, 12 November, 2018 - 11:50 to 13:20
Room: 
Salle II

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678