Slovenia Slovenia


Vehovar, V.; Motl, A.; Mihelič, L.; Berčič, B.; Petrovčič, A. (2012), 'Detection of hate speech on the Slovenian Internet ' ('Zaznava sovražnega govora na slovenskem spletu'), Teorija in praksa, Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 171−189.

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Type of publication

Survey - quantitative research

Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution



Vehovar, V., Motl, A., Mihelič, L., Berčič, B. and Petrovčič, A.

Main Thematic Focus

Hate speech

Target Population

General population

Key findings

In the article, authors firstly distinguish the criminalised form of hate speech from other forms of "controversial" communication, such as inappropriate expression (e.g. vulgarism) and forms of unacceptable speech that can be the subject of civil lawsuits (e.g. repentance). In the empirical part, secondly, authors analyze the understanding of the term hate speech among Slovenian users of the Internet. It turns out that the disputed communication is very disturbing to users but their understanding of the term "hate speech" is extremely loose. On the one hand, they don’t even recognize it, while they include other forms of disputed communication that can not be criminalized in their understanding of hate speech on the other hand. In the final part of the article, they are presenting the results in the context of efforts to better understanding and also regulating of hate speech.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

The hypothesis of the article is that the common understanding of the term “hate speech” is incompatible with the notion of criminalised form of hate speech. The divergence was analyzed with 2169 reports of hate speech to the hate speech hotline The Web Eye (Spletno oko), where those who report hate speech to the hotline expect criminal prosecutors to act. From the beginning of March 2007 to November 2011, the Web Eye had received 4347 reports of alleged hate speech, and the analysis was done for 2169 applications in the period January-August 2011. The authors classified every application into categories of criminal, unacceptable and inappropriate speech. The understanding of hate speech was analyzed with the help of telephone and online surveys.

Sample details and representativeness

The understanding of hate speech among the general population of Slovenian Internet users was analyzed with the help of telephone and online surveys. The authors focused on three topic. The set of questions was included in the standard (representative and weighted) telephone survey RIS (Internet usage in Slovenia) of the general population; survey was completed in September 2011 on a sample of 320 people aged 15-75 years. Some results were also partially compared with a similar RIS 2008 survey. Online survey Hate speech on the Slovenian web was conducted between June and October 2011; It involved 1253 people. Respondents are recruited on their own with the help of (Online) invitations.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.