‘No Hate Speech Movement’ launched in Dublin to combat online abuse

24 Sep 2014

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), the Council of Europe and social media giant Twitter have come together to launch the No Hate Speech Movement, a campaign to raise awareness of internet hate speech and encourage young people to challenge online abuse.

Founded last year, the movement is currently underway in 38 of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states and is being coordinated by the NYCI in Ireland

No Hate Speech was officially launched in EU House, Dublin today. A number of guest speakers were invited to address the audience, including Senator Ivana Bacik, Twitter’s Patricia Cartes, and a number of young people who divulged their own experiences of internet abuse.

“The No Hate Speech Campaign gives young people a space to share their experiences, and feel they are being listened to,” said Anne Walsh, Intercultural and Equality Officer with the NYCI. “They have already begun to challenge stereotypes and dispel myths and assumptions across a variety of online and social platforms. We are now calling on more young people throughout Ireland to join the campaign and build on its success to date.”  

Cartes, who is head of global safety outreach at Twitter, revealed how the company had noted the effectiveness of counter narratives in tackling damaging speech.

“Twitter believes in the power of counter speech and I have seen first hand how effective it can be. Working closely with the Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement and the National Youth Council of Ireland has been instrumental to our efforts of ensuring our users have a positive experience on the platform. We look forward to continuing our work with the National Youth Council of Ireland in the future.”

The Council of Europe define ‘hate speech’ as, “all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin”.

The campaign runs until 2015. For more information visit www.nohatespeechmovement.org.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic