Press Pack for the Media / Bloggers




Why is online hate an urgent problem?

Hate speech can lead to suicide, self harm, and physical and emotional abuse. It puts the lives of individuals at risk, and can cause entire communities to feel unwelcome and withdraw from active participation in society. It destroys the public good of an inclusive society. The harm in hate speech, combined with the power of social media, creates a dangerous mix. It allows hate to go viral, individuals to be targeted, and communities to be attacked. Social media can bring stereotypes and  bigoted ignorance to the masses. It can also be used to promote extremism and incite riots.

How will “Fight Against Hate” tackle this problem?

People who see online hate and report it to social media companies often express concern that their complaints are wrongly rejected. Research by experts, including extensive research by the Online Hate Prevention Institute, has demonstrated that social media platforms often get it wrong. There is an urgent need to monitor how social media companies respond to users reports, and when they do act on the report, how long it takes them. Fight Against Hate will gather this data based on user reports and reviews. By having transparency on the effectiveness of social media companies when it comes to acting on user reports, we believe companies will seek to do better, that is, they will seek to remove hate more accurately and more quickly.

It’s also important to know the sorts of hate social media companies refuse to recognise as hate speech, and therefore refuse to remove from their platform. Facebook protected “rape jokes” for years before correcting their policy. They still refuse to recognise Holocaust denial as a form of hate speech. Aboriginal Memes too were a foreign concept to them. It is important to find and independently assess those items the platforms refuse to remove. Research into the areas where existing approaches are failing are needed to both understand and fix these problems. The data gathered through Fight Against Hate will allow the hard cases to be more easily found. When the same issue occurs repeatedly, there is a powerful case for the platforms to change their approach. So long as some types of hate are ignored, Fight Against Hate will continue to gather more and more examples of the platforms failing, and this too will create more pressure for change.

Offering people a chance to participate as part of a community tackling hate will also help to build up resilience. It’s easier to stand up against the bigots when you know others have your back. Bringing people together, to work against all forms of hate, will strengthen communities and the multicultural fabric of society. This too will reduce the impact hate speech has on the individuals and communities it targets.

More Information:

The Launch Event

International Human Rights Day will take place on December 10th. The night before, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, will launch Fight Against Hate at a launch event in Sydney.  The evening will also feature a range of other speakers and a panel discussion, all focused on the issue of hate speech on social media platforms. Once Mr Fletcher presses the button, Fight Against Hate will be open for public registration and use.

Who is behind this new tool?

Fight Against Hate is the flagship project of the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), Australia’s only charity dedicated to reducing the risk of harm from online hate. We work to protect people from the dangers of cyber-racism, cyber-bullying, serious trolling and other forms of online hate.

Founded in January 2012, OHPI has had a significant impact against the rising tide of online hate. Our first success saw YouTube remove over 1,500 racist videos overnight. Since then we have tackled issues such as: Aboriginal Memes, antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate, misogyny, homophobia, cyber-bullying, attacks against the ANZACs and military veterans, trolling, and digital self harm. In addition to our public work we also work with a range of government agencies providing confidential reports and analysis, and actively take part in consultations and public discussions on law reform and public policy.

Despite our success, we are working against a growing tide of hate. We need a new solution, a crowd powered solution, to meet that challenge. “Fight Against Hate” is that solution.

What sort of data will Fight Against Hate provide?

Different users of the system will see different information from the system.

Regular users will see:

In phase 2, registered NGOs, Government Agencies and Researchers will have access to:

In phase 2, registered law enforcement agencies will have access to:

How will this data help?:

Press Releases

10 November 2014 – Event announcement with comments from OHPI’s CEO

 

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The Online Hate Prevention Institute is a Charitable Institute and Incorporated as an Australian Public Company. ABN: 65 155 287 657 • Copyright OHPI © 2012 •
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