Discussing online wellbeing and hate speech at the Internet Governance Forum

Monday, 25 November 2019 marks the start of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany. This year, an Insafe delegation will host two workshops; one on opportunities and risks of digital technologies for people's wellbeing and one on hate speech.

The IGF is a platform that brings various stakeholder groups to the table to discuss public policy issues relating to the internet, to exchange information and to share good practices. It was established in 2006 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).

On Monday, 25 November 2019, from 17:05 to 18:15 CET, Sabrina Vorbau from the Better Internet for Kids (BIK)/Insafe Team will host a pre-event named "How is the digital age treating us? Opportunities and risks for people's wellbeing". During this session, participants will explore current trends and the growing range of threats to the global internet, such as online challenges, internet ethics, online disinformation, hate speech, human rights and security – and how to turn these into opportunities, making sure all citizens are benefitting from a healthy digital environment.

Sabrina Vorbau will host another workshop on Thursday, 28 November 2019, from 9:30 to 11:00 CET, this time named "Tackling Hate Speech: A Multi-Stakeholder Responsibility" together with Joachim Kind from the Landeszentral für Medien und Kommunikation (LMK) and David Wright from the UK Safer Internet Centre. A variety of speakers will discuss different approaches to tackling online hate speech: Thomas Blöink, Head of Subdivision at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection; David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Chan-jo Jun, advocate for IT law; Ingrid Brodnig, journalist and author; Sabine Frank from Google; and Dr Marc Jan Eumann, Director of LMK.

A range of break-out group discussions will follow, in which participants will exchanges ideas and best practices on online hate speech and the various questions it raises. How can we counteract online hate speech through national, regional and global cooperation? How can we strike a balance between children's rights to participation, access to information and freedom of speech, and their right to be protected from violence, exploitation and abuse online? How can their resilience be increased by means of capacity building, media literacy, support and guidance in the digital environment? What role should internet platforms play in defining the standards for acceptable content in light of freedom of speech? How can global accepted standards be developed on the matter? These group discussions will be facilitated by Hanna Gleiss, Project Coordinator at Das NETTZ; Kathrin and Joao, BIK Youth Ambassadors; Ricardo Campos from the University of Frankfurt/Lawgorithm, Sao Paulo; and Sofia Rasgado from the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre.

To learn more about the Internet Governance Forum, visit intgovforum.org and igf2019.berlin. You can also keep up with the events in real-time by watching the livestream, and by following @2019IGF and #IGF2019 on Twitter.

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