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  • Wednesday, May 10 2017
  • Daniel Jiménez
  • Analysis
  • Geopolitics
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Hate speech online is situated at the intersection of multiple tensions: it is the expression of con icts between different groups within and across societies; it is a vivid example of how technologies with a transformative potential such as the Internet bring with them both opportunities and challenges; and it implies complex balancing between fundamental rights and principles, including freedom of expression and the defence of human dignity.

As the UN agency with a speci c mandate to foster freedom of expression, and its corollaries, press freedom and freedom of information, UNESCO is actively working to promote mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication, including the Internet in general, and social networking platforms in particular.

The roots of the research presented in this current publication lie in UNESCO’s ful lment of Resolution 52 of its 37th General Conference in November 2013, as agreed by the Organization’s 195 Member States. This resolution called for a comprehensive and consultative multistakeholder study, within the mandate of UNESCO, on Internet-related issues of access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and the ethical dimensions of the Information Society. The research into hate speech served as a contribution towards the wider study.1

The present report provides a global overview of the dynamics characterizing hate speech online and some of the measures that have been adopted to counteract and mitigate it, highlighting good practices that have emerged at the local and global levels. While the study offers a comprehensive analysis of the international, regional and national normative frameworks developed to address hate speech online, and their repercussions for freedom of expression, it places particular emphasis on social and non-regulatory mechanisms that can help to counter the production, dissemination and impact of hateful messages online.