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2023 01 25 7Ignoring hate speech messages or simply blocking the user; responding to hate with more hate; supporting restrictions to what we can say online yet arguing that everyone should be free to express themselves and leave it to the readers to decide if any content is offensive. These are some of the results of the online self-assessment tool on hate speech (HS-SAT) that partners in seven EU countries conducted from September through November 2022. The project Advisory Board members joined the partner organizations to discuss the test results at an online meeting on 25 January 2023. The HS-SAT is part of the education and awareness-raising activities in the LEAD-Online project, coordinated by SDA.

Over 3500 users - school students and teachers, civic activists, and journalists, took the HS-SAT until the end of November in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Romania. The findings indicate similar trends in the seven countries when it comes to the usual targets of HSO, namely, migrants and refugees,ethnic minorities such as Roma, the LGBTQI+ community,and women. Over one-third of respondents also believe that young girls are most often the targets of online hatred. Close to 30% of all test users admit that they have used hate speech themselves in online communications. More detailed analysis per country and statistics are available in the national reports and the comparative report, which will be published shortly.

Currently, the project partners are in the process of developing an interactive online game, Hate Out!, with real-life scenarios that will let users recognize and decode hate speech and then choose the most adequate way to respond. The first release of the game is planned for May 2023. To find out how to be one of the first to play the game and how to become a champion of tolerance and non-discrimination among your peers, follow us.

The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme.


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