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    Panel discussion "Hate speech in online space as a new security threat"

    March 26, 2019, Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo.

    The Press Council in B&H participatedin the Panel discussion "Hate speech in the online space as a new security threat" on the 26th of March 2019. in Sarajevo.

    The Panel discussion was organized by the first generation of the Institute for Advanced Leadership in Politics - ALPI, a program of the International Republican Institute in B&H - IRI.

    After the presentation of the public policiy draft by the organizer, which targets hate speech in the online space, panelists Prof. Dr. Lejla Turčilo, professor at the Faculty of Political Science, and Marija Pudarić, representative of the Press Council in BiH, talked about their experience with hate speech from the perspective of the profession and their work.

    In her presentation, Marija Pudarić showed the results of the campaign "STOP! Hate speech! ", that the Press Council in B&H conducted from 17.08.2018. - 17.11.2018. in cooperation with 7 online media in BiH.

    During the campaign "STOP! Hate speech!" in 2018, the Press Council registered 2544 hate speechcomments, which corresponded to one or more of the following categories: incitement, threats, provocations that precede hate speech, provocation on religious and national basis, insults and vulgarity on the base of nationality or religion, discrimination, sexism, racism, chauvinism, primitivism, and hate speech out of affect.

    Pudarić pointed out the concerning increase in the number of hate speech comments, especially in comparison with the2014.campaign "STOP! Hate speech!“ when the number of registered hate speech comments in 42 online media in BiH was 1442. The Press Council noticed that the level of hatred increased, mostly targeting migrants, women in certain positions such as judges, journalists, prosecutors, and LGBTQ peoplein the 2018. campaign.

    She noted that B&H institutions have the opportunity tofollow the legal framework of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which issued in the past three years manyverdicts against online mediaprecisely because they kepthate speech content on their portals.

    Pudarić concluded that this problem is only going to escalate in the future and that the recommendation of the Press Council inB&H is that, along with the further development of solutions offered by digital technologies, it's vital to combat the cause of hate speech. Actions against hate speech have to be massive, different civil and educational organizations should be involved. Not only in the media community, but also in the spheres of politics - politicians as individuals, parties and their policies, economy - companies as advertisers, education - at all levels of the education system and institutions - legislative, executive and judicial authorities.

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