Rome, 10 June, 2013 - “Parole libere o parole d’odio ?” (“Free speech or hate speech ?”): Gabriella Battaini Dragoni sets in motion today the No Hate Speech Movement in Italy, during a parliamentary seminar organised by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini.
“The Council of Europe has expressed its concern on hate speech as a political weapon almost twenty years ago; nowadays hate speech has not disappeared and has turned online, especially affecting our young people”, emphasised the Deputy Secretary General, while addressing the prestigious audience at Palazzo Montecitorio.
In the framework of this initiative at Sala del Mappamondo, Josefa Idem, Italian Minister of Equal Opportunities, Youth and Sport, presented the national campaign against hate speech, already underway in 34 countries of the Council of Europe.
Hate speech online has become in recent years a major form of human rights abuse, with very serious consequences both online and offline. Hate speech as such is not a new human rights issue. However, its online dimension and the potential negative impact on democratic development give new reasons for concern.
Hate speech, as defined by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, covers all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin. For the purpose of the campaign, other forms of discrimination and prejudice, such as anti-gypsyism, christianphobia, islamophobia, misogyny, sexism and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity fall clearly within the scope of hate speech.