21 June, 2023

International Day for Countering Hate Speech: Panel discussion and training workshop

JOHANNESBURG, 21 June, 2023 – In partnership with the United Nations in South Africa, the Apartheid Museum, the Desmond Tutu Foundation and the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) will be hosting a panel discussion and a training workshop on hate speech and mis/disinformation to commemorate the International Day for Countering Hate Speech. The overall goal of the event is to bring awareness to and discuss hate speech and mis/disinformation as well as to equip participants with knowledge and practical skills on how to address these ills online.

This special event will bring together industry giants in the fight against hate speech and mis/disinformation, including the head of the UN in South Africa and its Resident Coordinator, Nelson Muffuh. Experts in the hate speech legal landscape and others from UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Desmond Tutu Foundation, the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, etc, will provide insights into hate speech in South Africa during a high-powered panel discussion. The discussion will focus on the topic, “Understanding hate speech from a legal standpoint, its impact on victims and their human rights and, strategies being employed to combat the scourge.”

 At the same event, MMA will launch its program on hate speech training. Dubbed the Hate Speech Spotters Program (HSSP), the goal of the program is to bring awareness to hate speech, its impact on victims/target groups online, as well as how and why spreading such content is harmful and hurtful. The HSSP is designed for both those who have disseminated or are purveyors of online harms. It is also designed for those who wish to use mechanisms to combat hate speech online.  The HSSP will equip participants to monitor, identify and report online hate speech, harassment, incitement, and the deliberate spreading of disinformation online. As part of the launch, the specially designed training toolkit will be delivered to participants.

According to the United Nations, “The devastating effect of hatred is sadly nothing new. However, its scale and impact are amplified today by new technologies of communication, so much so that hate speech has become one of the most frequent methods for spreading divisive rhetoric and ideologies on a global scale. If left unchecked, hate speech can even harm peace and development, as it lays the ground for conflicts and tensions, wide-scale human rights violations.”

MMA’s Director, William Bird also weighs in on the subject and the event saying, “Hate speech doesn’t just cause harm, it incites violence and undermines democracy. We commemorate the International Day for Countering Hate Speech recognising our recent past, aware that some still seek to use hate speech to silence, bully, denigrate and rob people of their dignity. We all have a responsibility to combat and call out hate speech, but just what is it and how can we do so? Join us as we hear from experts and launch our course to empower the public to act against hate speech online.”

The event will be held at the Apartheid Museum from 08:30 to 14:00. Please note that the first hour and the last have been reserved for breakfast and lunch respectively. Kindly RSVP using the link below;

Click here

Please find below, the Apartheid Museum physical address.

Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road 

Ormonde, 2001

Johannesburg, South Africa

For further information, please contact:

Lister Namumba, Media Monitoring Africa’s Programme Manager for Monitoring, Research and Analysis, Tel: 011 788 1278 or Email: listerr@mma.org.za

Eunice Namugwe, UN Information Centre, Tel: 078 233 4333 or Email: namugwe@un.org

About MMA

Media Monitoring Africa‘s vision is a responsible, quality media that enables an engaged
and informed citizenry in Africa and across the world. MMA aims to promote the
development of a free, fair, ethical and critical media culture in South Africa and the rest of
the continent. To achieve MMA’s vision, the three key areas that MMA seeks to address
through a human rights-based approach are: media ethics, media quality and media

For more information about MMA and its work for children visit www.mediamonitoringafrica.org

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