On Tuesday February 7th, OHPI celebrates the 20th annual Safer Internet Day, alongside technology, non-profit, civil society, and governmental organisations around the world. It is a day to reflect on the commitment to ensure that no matter who you are, the internet remains an accessible and safe resource to grow and share ideas.
Our work over the last 11 years has helped secure the removal of harmful content on major platforms and led to changes that have made the online world a better place. To stay informed of our work, please consider joining our mailing list, you can learn more about our work and see other ways to support online safety below.
OHPI’s commitment to making the internet a safer place
Last year, in partnership with Meta and the Australian Human Rights Commission, we completed a major mixed-methods research report “Anti-Asian Racism in Australian Social Media,” examining anti-Asian hate in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We offered 45 recommendations to better counter online hate and bolster the ability of local communities, governments and tech platforms to better mitigate and prevent harm.
We have also provided evidence and expert advice to state and federal governments on issues such as a National Anti-Racism Framework, the prohibition of displaying Nazis symbols, and the Online Safety Bill.
Recently, we completed a merger with Exit Australia and New Zealand, absorbing Exit as a project of the Online Hate Prevention Institute. Its founder, Matthew Quinn, has become our new Director of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. Exit has been running since 2015 and, based on an updated count for Safer Internet Day 2023, we can share that Exit has so far redirected over 500 people away from extremism, and helped over 250 people leave extremist movements behind. Joining forces with Exit further enhances our training and research, as well as our ability to ensure community safety and to combat hateful ideologies online.
Our work has also made positive impacts internationally. In rapid response to the terrorist attack in Buffalo, New York, OHPI removed videos of the attack promoting extremism, and delivered a comprehensive analysis of the attack to inform society about preventing future harm from similar violent acts. In cooperation with the American Jewish Congress, we were also able to secure the removal of a copy of the live-streamed attack that accumulated a large viewership in the immediate aftermath.
On January 24 with Indian authorities, we secured the removal of Daily Stormer, a extreme far-right hate site that has been repeatedly banned all over the world. The site was using a domain name registered in India, and was hosted there since November 2022. In less than 24 hours after we notified the relevant authorities, the site was closed.
We’ve also been vocal about the rise of hate on Twitter since Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform late last year. The saga of dramatic changes has brought to the fore the challenging decisions required to maintain safe and effective platforms. Increasing the visibility of hate will not decrease its prevalence. Equally too, platforms must continue to maintain robust and current safeguards to ensure toxic actors and abuses of their services aren’t left unabated.
The pandemic highlighted the important role online spaces play in people’s lives. Maintaining the safety of such an integral system is not the responsibility of private sector companies alone. Only when nurturing collaborative dialogue across sectors, can we truly work together to build a safer internet for all.
You can make a direct impact on Safer Internet Day and make the online sphere a better place.
How you can help on Safer Internet Day
Some ways to make a difference:
- Spreading the word about Safer Internet Day. Use hashtags #SaferInternetDay and #SID2023 to celebrate the occasion and visit the Safer Internet Day’s homepage for more information.
- Learn more by accessing our resources, those from the Office of Australia’s e-Safety Commissioner, and those at the UK Safer Internet Centre.
- Report hateful and dangerous content to our Fight Against Hate software (report antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Asian racism by heading to these links). Make sure you also report it to the platform you found it on too.
- Get more involved with the Online Hate Prevention Institute by becoming a regular monthly donor, following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, or join our mailing list.
- Help spread the word! Encourage those who may be interested to learn more about our work and get involved.
You can also help us continue our important work by making a one off donation. We are a small charity tackling a huge and growing problem. Every donation is greatly appreciated and makes a big difference to us.