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Hate speech online: new data from the European Commission

Juliana Louceiro, Carina Dantas

The results of the latest evaluation of the EU Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online has been launched and the results show lowdown in progress.

The EU Code of Conduct on Hate Speech online is an agreement that was signed on 31 May 2016 between the European Commission and enterprises that own online platforms and establish the need of these companies to put in place systems and teams to review and remove hate speech content. Nowadays, the Code covers 96% of the EU market share of online platforms. The companies that are integrated in this Code use a commonly agreed methodology that allows to test how the IT companies are implementing the commitments. Since 2016, seven evaluations were made.

In this last evaluation, released on November 25th, a decrease in companies “notice-and-action results is shown: the notifications reviewed within 24 hours are decreasing since 2020. In that year, 90.4% of the notifications had been reviewed; in 2021, the number dropped to 81% and this year, only 64.4%. The removal rate also had a decrease, but not so big. On average, 69.9% of the content calling for murder or violence against specific groups and 59.3% of the content using defamatory words or pictures was removed. The hate speech reported most is anti-romani, xenophobia, and sexual orientation. You can learn more about the topic in the factsheet developed by the European Commission!

Online hate speech has the same effect on victims that the hate speech perpetrated offline: lowers self-esteem, increase sleeping disorders, anxiety and feelings of fear and insecurity. We believe that education is a powerful tool to reduce this phenomenon, so in SDD we are finishing the workshop curriculum about this topic, and after that, we will test it and evaluate it in various workshops! Stay tuned for more news!