Online Youth Campaign against Hate Speech


Edited by Katerina Nakou, Journalist

The No Hate Speech Movement

Young people combating Hate Speech online: living, learning, acting for Human Rights

Central to the project will be the Online Youth Campaign that will be launched on 21 March 2013. The campaign will be based on online communities of young people motivated to discuss and act against hate speech online. The campaign will have a European dimension that provides the umbrella under which national/local campaigns will be carried out. The national campaigns are to be implemented with the active involvement of non-governmental and governmental actors in the field of youth, in the spirit of co-management. National campaign committees are being set up in the member states.



A Youth campaign

Young people and youth representatives have provided most of the input to the campaign definition at a preparatory seminar held in October 2012. The seminar participants made several recommendations and collected numerous ideas for the strategy and the visual and linguistic elements of the Campaign. The participants also came up with concrete plans for the European and the national campaign programme, the ways of involving young people and schools into the Campaign.Young people will play the central role in the campaign by taking part in online and offline activities and in being its most important agents. The campaign is led by young people and addressed to everyone.

A campaign for human rights based on freedom of expression

The campaign is not run to limit or freedom of expression online.It is also not against hatred online and it is not about being nice to each other online – but this is of course very important, too!The campaign is against hate speech online in all its forms, including those that most affect young people, including forms of cyber-bullying and cyber-hate.The campaign is based upon human rights education, youth prticipand media literacy. The campaign aims at reducing hate speech and at combating, racism and discrimination in their online expression; raising awareness about these phenomena is the first objective of the campaign.

A campaign with many folds

The campaign seeks to:

  • Raise awareness about hate speech online and its risks for democracy and for individual young people, and promoting media and Internet literacy
  • Support young people in standing up for human rights, online and offline Decrease the levels of tolerance to online hate speech
  • Mobilize, train and network online youth activists for human rights
  • Map hate speech online and to promote tools for constructive responses
  • Show support and solidarity to people and groups targeted by hate speech online;
  • Advocate for the development and consensus on European policy instruments combating hate speech;
  • Develop forms of youth participation and citizenship online.

The campaign will combine online and offline elements and activities. The local and linguistic aspects are very important; so the online campaign elements should be designed to give the possibility of adjusting to national cultural and linguistic realities. It should consider all dimensions of hate speech when assessing and acting, making the system sensitive to motivation, content, tone, context, targets, potential implications of hate speech.The campaign will connect with online communities and groups; it is also an opoportunity for youth work to connect with the realities of young people’s online participation. The Campaign will pay a particular attention involving school environments and also stakeholders in higher education.

Target groups

The campaign’s main target groups are the public at large and online activists. “Victims” and “Haters” will also be considered through specific measures and through the wider project.


Personal and interpersonal sphere

Civil society

Broader social context

Legislative aspect

Political and policy domains



Methods for inclusion of   victims

Social and cultural inclusion

Stronger legal protection

Better minority policies


Alternatives for expression opinion

Other ways of involvement

Stronger social pressure

Consequent legal approach

Less political justification


Counter arguments and   practical tools

Stronger networking

More support and recognition

Legal support for prevention   and measures

More political recognition   and more support



Dynamic civil society involvement

Stronger public opinion   against hate speech

Clearer agreement among governments

Less political extremism,   more democracy

A campaign of many campaigns

The strategy of the campaign builds on the experience of the All Different – All Equal European youth campaigns.The Council of Europe is responsible for providing the political and educational framework of the campaign – this is done under the responsibility of the Joint Council on Youth. The Joint Council set up a Follow-up Group to support the implementation of the campaign, in the respect of co-management. The Council of Europe prepares also the programme of European activities and provides the common strategy and tools for online activism. Most effective campaign strategies and actions will be designed and implemented at national level, or even within the framework of specific organisations. For this purpose, governments are invited to initiate the setting up of national campaign committees. The ideal committee should involve governmental institutions, youth organisations ant other civil society actors, as well as the relevant segments of business. Each committee should draw up its work plan strategy. European coordination meetings are also foreseen, especially in view of articulating the European campaign with national ones.