IGF 2018 WS #81
Hack The Hate: Imagine a toolbox to face hate speech


Organizer 1: Henri Isaac,
Organizer 2: Sasha Havlicek, Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Organizer 3: Cécile Coudriou, Amnesty International France

Speaker 1: Sasha Havlicek, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Cécile Coudriou, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Guillaume BUFFET, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Guillaume Buffet will moderate this hackathon.

Online Moderator

Mike Fedida, Manager of the Seriously Project, Renaissance Numérique.


Student(s) from Master's programme in Peace Studies at Paris-Dauphine University.


Other - 90 Min
Format description: This session will be a hackathon. It is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers (students, activists, citizens) collaborate intensively on software projects. This session seeks to launch the most relevant challenges on online hate issues to participate in solving them.


Guillaume Buffet, CEO of U and founder of the Seriously project, will present the Seiously’s approach to defuse hate on the Internet, identified as one of the best practice by a recent OSCE’s report. He will also expose main challenges experienced for the future evolution of the project.

The others “interventions” will be made by the participants of the hackathon Hack the Hate. The background of these participants will be students, associations, IT developers, etc.


The panel has been designed carefully keeping in mind gender parity and region diversity of individuals who work on these issues across the world with different cultures of regulation, approaches and experiences. Note that Renaissance Numerique is a stakeholder (member of steering committee) of the French Chapter of the IGF, but has not yet contributed to the global IGF.

The emergence of the Internet, and more recently social networks, have considerably changed the way ideas are produced and how they circulate. By broadening the opportunity offered to each of us to express ourselves and take part in a lot of different debates, society’s digital networking paves the way for a real discursive democracy. However, while this reflects an unprecedented progress in democracy, this new environment mark the end of gatekeepers, considered legitimate for the expression of opinions in the public space, and the emergence of new public opinions. This is why groups that did not previously have access to public speech have developed a worrying strike force on the Internet.

The current approach, prioritizing regulation of the issue only by focusing resources on the law, is running into major pitfalls. On the one hand, the coercive mobilization of the judicial system leads public actors to promote worrisome policies (legislative inflation, risk of privatization of justice). On the other hand, proceeding this way doesn’t allow us to tackle the entire issue, especially online hate speeches located in a legal “grey area” (for which a legal qualification is very difficult or nonexistent, e.g. stereotypes, prejudices, expressions of intolerance). Without challenging the respect and the necessity of the law, shaping the society foundations, it is necessary to encourage additional and complementary solutions.

This new dimension of the debate will be a major democratic step forward. This has to be accompanied by trainings and education, especially for the young people. This also implies making available tools and methods enabling to remove the current difficulties in order to make this space for discussion a more peaceful space.

This session seeks to launch the most relevant challenges on online hate’s topics to attempt to solve them. These challenges could be for examples:
- How to tackle critical barriers to scale-up innovative projects?
- How to improve tools and methods to empower civil society and citizens?
- What kind of new educational approaches (concepts, tools, methods) adapted to the digital age?

Note that the hackathon format is not provided by the IGF’s form, but Renaissance Numerique and its co-organizers would like to propose to the IGF a such innovative session.

This session will be launch at the beginning of the first Hack the Hate event (Open discussion session) and will be close at the end of the other Hack the Hate event (Pitch session). So the whole hackathon is a half-day session.

How empower civil society empowerment to face hate speech?

The virality and universality offered by Internet to hate speeches brings new complexity and imply a redefinition of approaches. Reporting tools, today main levers of actions, are not sufficient to tackle the whole phenomenon. Hence, it urges to equip citizens with methods and tools enabling them to take action against hate online. Some methods, tools and approaches exist through worldwide innovative projects but they have to be enhanced and others to be designed and created. That is the reason why the participants of the hackathon will be mobilize to try to solve some of these challenges.
This session will answer policy questions and operational needs like:
● Tools complementing the law regulation to tackle online hate speeches.
● Empower civil society and citizens to prevent extremism
● New approaches for the educational sector

In term of agenda, this event is supposed to be the second of the three workshops we designed (the first is "Hack the Hate: Empower society to face hate speech", and the third one is "Hack The Hate: Inspire us to tackle hate speech").

Online Participation

Renaissance Numérique and the co-organizers will set up online participation tools:
- A website dedicated to the global event Hack The Hate will be available. Before the event starts, this will be used to promote the various sessions, to vote the main challenges (hackathon session), and to list the innovative best practices across the world. It will also be used to publicize a summary, report; to list the of the most relevant points and to map the best innovative practices after the event.
- On social networks: relevant hashtags on Twitter (#IGF2018 and #HackTheHate), Facebook Live. During talks, a dedicated person will be in charge of both facilitating the visibility of the event and sharing the questions on Twitter.