FRA’s online content moderation report looks at the challenges of detecting and removing hate speech from social media.
It highlights that there is no commonly agreed definition of online hate speech. Online content moderation systems are also not open to researchers’ scrutiny. This makes it difficult to get a full picture of the extent of online hate and hampers efforts to tackle it.
FRA’s analysis of posts and comments published on social media platforms between January–June 2022 reveals:
To tackle online hate, the EU and online platforms should:
The report covers four social media platforms (Reddit, Telegram, X, and YouTube) in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Sweden. FRA was not able to access data from Facebook and Instagram for this research.
Between January–June 2022, FRA collected almost 350,000 posts and comments based on specific key words. Human coders assessed about 400 random posts from each country to determine if they were hateful. 40 random posts were then assessed in more detail by coders and legal experts. This report shows the different types of hate speech found across the countries, target groups and platforms covered.
Quote from FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty:
“The sheer volume of hate we identified on social media clearly shows that the EU, its Member States, and online platforms can step up their efforts to create a safer online space for all, in respect for human rights including freedom of expression. It is unacceptable to attack people online just because of their gender, skin colour or religion.”
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