3 March, 2014
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Community Manager
March 3, 2014 at 11:41 am

In March Hate Speech Watch focuses on the problem of racial discrimination online, following the coming International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March. The Hate Speech Watch encourages you to report online sources spreading racist ideas and inciting hatred and discrimination. This month Online Activists will select a number of sensitive cases and will respond to them by organizing specific online actions to raise awareness or to reduce the harm of that hate speech content. 

21 March was established by the United Nations as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination long ago in 1966. In 1960 on that day police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa who marched against the apartheid pass laws. Years later despite persistent actions against racism and series of treaties addressing racist behavior at the national and international level, racism still remains a vibrant danger. While in the offline space racism-based attacks are normally treated according to the national laws and are quite easy to be monitored, online racism is hard to be tracked and is prospering. The concern of the No Hate Speech Movement is that hatred expressed online always affects the lives of people offline. We all know about the Norwegian terrorist, who took lives of 69 young people, mostly teenagers, in a mass shooting at “Workers' Youth League” (AUF) camp on the island of Utøya. His actions were preceded by spreading radical racist, islamophobic and anti-semitic content on his Facebook page and other online sources, moreover – he e-mailed the file with full description to 1,003 addresses about 90 minutes before he blasted bomb in Oslo. His online activity was taken seriously too late and the cost was paid in human lives. This case is an extreme example – however we don’t need to go that far. Every day racist jokes, videos, comments and other content appear online in great amounts – they hurt people and affect their lives seriously, but even worse – they might give hatred-based arguments and encourage someone to violent actions. We encourage you to help the Hate Speech Watch Team and to report the content that is spreading racist views and promotes discrimination. Don’t ignore the danger of racist content online and take an action!


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