The “Switch OFF/ONline Hate Speech” project deals with the hate speech issue within the Romanian online space, its main objective being the promotion of democratic values and the right to free speech in online. PATRIR aims at raising the awareness of 10 most followed Romanian bloggers and vloggers, as well as 10 journalists, who, as opinion shapers (target group), will deepen their understanding of the consequences of hate speech. At the same time, they will be trained how to build their capacity to deal with and transform hate speech in the Romanian online space, promoting respect and non-violence. Afterwards, they will be actively involved in implementing an online and offline campaign over a period of 6 months, joining the No Hate Speech Movement, at a national level. The beneficiaries will be both the “digital native” and the “colonists”, be them victims of hate speech, haters, activists or the public.
Summary of project results
The main goal of the "Switch OFF/ONline Hate Speech" project was that of promoting the right to freedom of expression and the right to dignity in the Romanian online environment for digital natives, aged 14 to 24 and digital colonists, aged 25 to 40. During the 12 months period of implementation of the project, the proposed objectives of engaging journalists, bloggers, video bloggers and online opinion makers into raising awareness on the existence and consequences of using hate speech in the online environment were successfully achieved. An action group of 18 people was created, their communication and conflict management skills were enhanced through trainings and workshops, and then, together with the project team members, they produced and distributed online content such as articles, interviews, videos and infographics in order to say "NO to online hate speech!" The project team created a weekly video debate with opinion makers “What is Hate Speech?” and tested people’s reactions to reading out loud hate speech messages written in the online. Also, within the project, the first study (in Romania) on the incidence of online hate speech in comments made by users on the top Romanian Facebook pages, blogs and news platforms was conducted and issued. Project activities were carried out in the framework of the No Hate Speech Campaign in Romania. An online platform - www.nohatespeech.ro
, with corresponding social media accounts (FB, twitter), were created and aimed at raising awareness of the target audience about hate speech. During the 5 months of the campaign, 286 materials have been posted on Facebook, with a total reach of 513,765 users on the project’s Facebook page. On the website, 115 items have been posted and viewed by 5,053 users. The project promoter succeeded in engaging a good number of public figures on the topic, as well as psychologists and college teachers, who are interested in continuing to analyse the topic of online hate speech and support further activities of the No Hate Speech Campaign. PATRIR became a member of the campaign’s steering committee in Romania.
Summary of bilateral results