SJA organizes a meeting "hate speech on social media, are we ready?"

Launch a draft code of conduct to combat hate speech on social media

The Syrian Journalists Association held a dialogue meeting in Berlin, Germany, on 14/07/2018 under the title "hate speech on social media, are we ready ...?” that participated by a group of Syrian journalists from various political, ethnic and sectarian movements within and outside the Association.

The meeting discussed the need to define the hate speech and its determinants. The interlocutors stressed that so far there is no internationally agreed definition of this speech, which prevents the enactment of the necessary laws to combat it.

The participants tried to communicate to a number of concepts that help in defining a clear and specific definition of the hate speech on the social media by looking at a number of experiences in some Arab and foreign countries, provided by Dr. Mona Abdel Maksoud, the assistant professor at Cairo University, who indicates many studies have tried to provide important conclusions on the way to define this concept, pointing out that the Syrian journalists can start from when working on their own project in the combat against this speech.

The Secretary-General of the Association of Independent Journalists in Bosnia, Borka Rudic, also made a presentation on the experience of Bosnian journalists in combating hate speech in the aftermath of the 10-year civil war between the Serbs and Bosnia, noting that since 1994 they have been working on this subject, and they have made important achievements in clearing the media discourse of many expressions of hatred and incitement to violence and avoid them in the media.

At the end of the discussion, the meeting approved the formation of a working group to select a committee of Syrian journalists from within and outside the Syrian journalists association, which will work on a code of conduct that includes rules to reduce hate speech among Syrians, especially on social media.

The meeting was moderated by colleague Ali Eid, president of the Syrian Journalists Association.