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OSCE Meeting on the Relationship between Racist, Xenophobic and Anti-Semitic Propaganda on the Internet and Hate Crimes, Paris, 16 – 17 June 2004

OSCE/FOM side event with Ms. Karin Spaink

Some arguments:
Why discriminatory speech on the internet cannot – and should not – be banned

Objections pertaining to constitutional rights and the law

• Racism is not easy to identify. It took Dutch and Flemish courts years to penalize the Centrumpartij and Vlaams Blok, both of them parties that identify themselves as extreme nationalists.

• Requiring ISPs or co-regulation bodies to assess (parts of) web sites or usenet postings and giving them the right to remove expressions that are judged to be examples of hate speech, places them in a position equal to of the court, without simultaneously giving the accused the rights that s/he has within the penal system (the right to an attorney and the right to appeal). Moreover, court verdicts are public, which allows for transparency and accountability. ISPs or co-regulation bodies lack both.

Objections pertaining to the nature of the internet

• There are no unified laws to define hate speech. What is accepted in one country, is not acceptable in the other. The global nature of the internet makes it impossible to prevent people who engage in discriminatory speech from conducting their activities from within the framework of the countries that pose the least resistance.

• The internet is not one media: there are many different protocols (http, irc, smtp). There is quite a difference between a discriminatory web site and a similar remark in a chat; the first one has a more 'permanent' character while the second is more 'fleeting'. Proposals to legislate hate speech usually lump everything together.

• The phenomenon of spam prove that people will find ways and means to publish banned material. Anti-spam laws have not decreased the amount of spam being pumped around: it has made it more difficult to track those responsible.

Objections pertaining to current anti-discriminatory hotlines

• At least some of these hotlines have proved themselves to be severely slanted, taking anti-semitism much more serious than any other discriminatory speech (such as anti-gay or anti-muslim speech).

• Hotlines make themselves insufficiently accountable. Many of them fail to publish statistics, hardly any of them publish the whys and hows of the individual cases that they have dealt with. Some of them are self-appointed; some of them engage in what can only be referred to as 'management by slander': going to the press and publicly characterizing certain web sites as hate sites, while the prosecutor can find no reason to start a case. Ironically, that practice can be labelled as hate speech too...

OSCE Meeting on Racist, Xenophobic and Anti-Semitic Propaganda on the Internet

haGalil onLine:
Tension between freedom of speech and control of incitement
I think it became clear, that we cannot perceive the internet primarily as a threat, but much more should use the chance it offers to promote understanding and dialogue in a pluralistic and global society...
(Soundfile from Paris RA)

Public and Private Partnership:
The Fight Against Racism, Xenophobia and anti-Semitism on the Internet
An Introduction by Miklós Haraszti, OSCE-Representative on Freedom of the Media...

Technical and political considerations:
Is prohibiting hate-speech feasible - or desirable?
At the OSCE Paris conference a number of countries / NGOs appealed to regulate the internet in order to stop hate speech. However, and contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as 'the internet'...

Security and Transparency:
Online Propaganda and the Commission of Hate Crimes
by Michael Whine, Chairman of the Community Security Trust, which provides defence and security services for the Jewish community in the UK...

Free Speech:
..."Let the bright light of truth expose their bigotry, so their lies can be unmasked"...
by Stephan M. Minikes, Ambassador, U.S. Mission...

Christian Antijudaism:
Cyberspace is a reflection of the world-at-large
If we put enough effort in education that promotes respect for differences, peaceful co-existence and tolerance, the Internet will also become hate-free...

One of the most acute dilemmas facing us at the outset of the Twenty-First Century:
The proliferation of hate material on the internet

Mass communication is not anymore on its infancy. With the Internet, we are dealing with a phenomenon unparalleled in all of History. Instant communication is possible, to all points on the globe, at minimum cost...


16./17. Juni - OSZE-Konferenz in Paris:
Fremdenhass und Antisemitismus im Internet

Am kommenden Mittwoch und Donnerstag findet in Paris eine OSZE-Konferenz statt, die die Zusammenhänge zwischen rassistischer, fremdenfeindlicher und antisemitischer Propaganda im Internet und Hassdelikten zum Thema hat...

Antisemitische Propaganda im Internet:
Hass ist das Ende der Welt

Methoden zur Rechtsdurchsetzung und Erfahrungen mit der strafrechtlichen Verfolgung antisemitischer u./o. rechtsextremistischer Hetze...

Ein Motivvorrat, der in jeder Epoche wieder aktualisiert werden kann:
Zum Begriff des Antisemitismus

Die Wortbildung basiert auf sprachwissenschaftlichen und völkerkundlichen Unterscheidungen des ausgehenden 18. Jahrhunderts, in denen mit dem Begriff des Semitismus der "Geist" der semitischen Völker im Unterschied zu dem der Indogermanen erfasst und abgewertet werden sollte...

[ENGLISH] [FRENCH]   [SoundFile (English) OSCE Conference Berlin- Session 4 / David Gall]

hagalil.com 20-06-2004


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