Inputs to the UN on online hate speech and content moderation
The Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (Association for Civil Rights – ADC) made submissions in response to a call by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism to civil society stakeholders for her periodic report, in this instance on the topic of online hate speech.
Based on our study conducted in four countries of the region, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and Costa Rica, the contribution revolves around three thematic axes: digital platforms, offensive speech, and the role of intermediaries.
In addition, there is a special mention of the legal and social aspects of hate speech, which must be considered when defining the problem.
Regarding the legal dimension, the submission refers to international treaties addressing the issue, such as the American Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It also delves into differences in the definitions and approaches taken by the legal systems in the countries mentioned above.
As to the social aspect, we emphasize that hateful discourse derives from power relations and reinforces socio-cultural hierarchies and inequalities. It also addresses the problem of fake accounts and trolls who help to spread cyber hate and highlights the role of social media platforms in content moderation.