WS80 Hack the Hate: Empower Society to Face Hate Speech

12 November 2018 - A Workshop on Other in Paris, France

- 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.


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


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