Gender-based violence is hate speech, hate speech is not free speech

From the EuroDIG 2013 (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) at the Council of Europe in Sarajevo on 21 June 2013, a platform for remote participation from Lisbon was organised by Foundation OneWorldSEE (owpsee) in cooperation with the Office of the Council of Europe. In attendance were stakeholders involved in the issue of female and male participants in internet governance (IG) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This year’s conference theme was “Cross-border hate speech and defamation – living together online.”

Hate speech is commonly defined as any communication that disparages a person or group on the basis of certain characteristic such as race, color, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion and other characteristics. The executive directress of owpsee, Valentina Pellizzer, said that big companies such as Facebook and Google have set their own rules and thus assume the role of the state. They also make decisions about what is appropriate and what is not. “This is not their job and therefore we need to talk about it,” Pellizzer said.

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