Analysis of online hate speech and disinformation in Slovenia and development of a proposal for action
With the spread of digital technologies (DT), the use of the internet has reached practically entire active population in developed countries. In addition to many improvements, the development of DT has also brought dark sides. These include hate speech, where negative communication is directed against deprived groups, and disinformation, where false information is deliberately spread with harmful intent. This is abuse of freedom of speech that has taken on new dimensions with online existence. Internet users in Slovenia, as in the EU, recognise the dangers and support the creation of a unified EU Digital Agenda. Several activities have been carried out, ranging from analyses, action plans, codes of conduct, to a comprehensive set of measures in the Digital Services Act. The latter – among many other aspects – regulates in a uniform way the basic measures against hate speech and disinformation, where an important part of the responsibility is delegated to corporations.
In addition to the central role played by the European Commission and the joint regulatory bodies in enforcing these policies and measures at EU level, Member States have a major role to play in ensuring administrative adjustments and resources. While they mainly use legal and administrative levers, the proposed projectfocuses on accompanying and complementary awareness-raising measures, where it pursues 2 objectives:
- Identifying, structuring, segmenting and understanding the phenomena of disinformation and hate speech and other forms of socially unacceptable discourse; on this basis, developing appropriate indicators, an index or a model for continuous monitoring;
- Identification of varied different fields of action; on this basis, propose actions in the fields of information, identification, promotion, education,awareness-raising and empowerment of the target publics.
The activities to achieve these objectives are structured in a sequence of 4 steps:
- Review of existing resources and data collection, carried out in parallel in 2 directions:
- Systematic review of relevant sources, activities and good practices in the field of hate speech and disinformation in EU and selected non-EU countries,
- Review and re-analysis of past surveys and other research on hate speech and disinformation in Slovenia, systematic review of relevant empiricalliterature, development of a measurement instrument and implementation and analysis of a larger (n=3000) survey;
- Identification of multidimensional areas of hate speech and disinformation and development of corresponding proposals for action and for continuous monitoring of both areas;
- Validation of key proposals through pilot survey and focus groups;
- Elaboration of updated final proposals for action.
The results of the project will provide stakeholders with new knowledge and up-to-date insights into the dilemmas, which will form the basis for informed decisions.