1. The Committee on Culture, Science,
Education and Media welcomes the report by Ms Marit Maij (Netherlands,
SOC) on behalf of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination
and its proposed draft resolution and draft recommendation. Cyberdiscrimination
and, even more so, online hate have become widespread phenomena
today, undermining public trust in online media and on the internet.
The subject is thus timely and relevant for the Council of Europe
due to its standards and action in this field.
2. Ms Maij has expressly stated in her report that she did not
intend to look at issues falling within the remit of the Committee
on Culture, Science, Education and Media and its report on “Online
media and journalism: challenges and accountability” that will be
discussed in a joint debate with this report. Therefore, this opinion refers
to the aspects of cyberdiscrimination and online hate, which have
been considered by the committee in the context of its related work.
Some aspects are obviously transversal and need to be recalled in
both this report and the report on online media and journalism.
3. There is an aspect which is not covered explicitly: besides
incitement to discrimination and violence, other online content
and behaviour, though not illegal, may be considered offensive or
harmful to vulnerable groups or individuals. I believe this issue
needs to be addressed more effectively through awareness-raising measures,
education for democratic citizenship, enhanced media literacy and
maybe also through media self-regulation. At this stage, it is not
possible to develop concrete proposals on such measures, as they
could raise delicate issues, but hopefully this could be covered
by a future report.
4. The committee proposes the following amendments aimed at strengthening
the draft resolution and draft recommendation.