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Thematic reports

A/74/486: Report on online hate speech


09 October 2019

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Hate speech


In this report, the Special Rapporteur underscored that ‘hate speech’ legislation must meet the requirements of legality, necessity and proportionality, and legitimacy, in order to meet the requirements of international human rights law.

The Special Rapporteur noted that States should generally deploy tools at their disposal other than criminalization and prohibition – such as education, counter-speech, promotion of pluralism, and so forth – to address hateful speech that does not constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.

In relation to the role of private companies in this sector, the Special Rapporteur further recommended innovative ways to combat 'hate speech', including the deletion of content, but also "restricting its virality, labelling its origin, suspending the relevant user, suspending the organization sponsoring the content, developing ratings to highlight a person's use of prohibited content, temporarily restricting content while a team is reviewing, demonetizing, minimizing its amplification, interfering with bots and coordinated online mob behavior, adopting geolocated restrictions, and even promote counter-messaging".

The report provides a set of recommendations to both States and private companies.

Issued By:

Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Delivered To:

GA at its 74th session, 2019, September 2019