The Assembly says no to online hate

Based on the report by Marit Maij (Netherlands, SOC), PACE has proposed, in a resolution, a set of measures to prevent and combat online hate. According to the adopted text, member States should strengthen their national legislation, so that it “allows for the effective prosecution of online hate speech, while fully respecting freedom of expression” and “covers all forms of online incitement to violence, bullying, harassment, threats and stalking”. These laws must take into account a whole range of characteristics, including “sex, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, political or other opinion, and disability”, as grounds of protection.

The Assembly invites member States to strengthen both the content and the application of their national legislation, and as regards prevention, to raise awareness in society about the extent and impact of online hate. The parliamentarians also call on internet intermediaries to work harder to prevent and remove online hate, and to invest, as a matter of urgency, in promoting the responsible use of online technology and forums.

Lastly, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to review its Recommandation N° R(97) 20 on hate speech.