Hate Speech in the Digital Age. Status Quo, Awareness Raising and Counter Strategies


The project NoHate@WebStyria explores the online hate speech phenomenon, understood as insults on the Internet due to personal characteristics of ethnic origin, gender or sexuality, the call for violence against groups with these characteristics or the denial of the Holocaust. The project focuses on an inventory of online hate speech in Styria, awareness raising in the population and the development of counterstrategies.

Status Quo

In the project NoHate@WebStyria, scholars from different disciplines (legal, political, social and media sciences) will deal with the effects and consequences of the constant use of digital media, focusing on digital communication options such as social media (eg Facebook, Twitter) or newspaper forums. Using the current topic "Online Hate Speech" as an example, new societal challenges are being analyzed on different levels, with the aim of raising the status quo on the subject of online hate speech in Styria. In particular, three aspects will be discussed in more detail: What is medically possible, what is legally permitted and what is ethically acceptable?

Awareness Raising and Counter Strategies

On this basis, recommendations for different stakeholders, a commentary on the relevant standards of Austrian law and a practical guide to the current legal situation are developed, which will help to raise awareness of this socially virulent problem. On the one hand, the project examines new stress tests for democratic principles (macro level) and for media institutions, consulting institutions and institutions affected by Hate Speech (meso level). On the other hand, health and safety risks for the public are analyzed (micro level).

Project Partners