Online Abuse Roundtable – Kinder, Gentler Politics

Event: Kinder, Gentler Politics: Social Media Roundtable
Date: 7th August 2018 at 3-5pm
Venue: TechHub Moorgate 101 Finsbury Pavement
Website: https://webrootsdemocracy.org/

The Roundtable will be an opportunity to feed in thoughts about the state of the online abuse issue, what is being done and what could be done by social media companies to tackle it. The aim of the roundtable is to inform realistic yet innovative recommendations on how the online abuse of political figures should be managed. Due to the scale of the project and the number of actors involved, this will likely be the first of a number of roundtables on the Kindler, Gentler Politics report. However this will be the main opportunity for social media companies to feed in their insights. Other roundtable topics will include a legal and a youth perspective.

WebRoots Democracy is working on the Kinder, Gentler Politics report which aims to tackle the online abuse of political figures (particularly racist and sexist rhetoric on twitter towards political activists, correspondents, journalists and politicians).

The EJN’s Chris Elliott will attend the roundtable to share our work on hate speech in media and hear from representatives from social media companies on the topic.

About the Kinder, Gentler Politics Report

Kinder, Gentler Politics is the first report of the Regulating Social Media project. For this report, WebRoots Democracy is undertaking research on the online abuse of individuals working in the political sphere. This includes politicians, candidates, campaigners, activists, and journalists. The report will explore the current landscape and will recommend new policy ideas to help tackle the rise of harmful and damaging online abuse in UK politics.

Purpose of today’s roundtable

Today’s roundtable is an opportunity to feed in thoughts about the state of the online abuse issue, what is being done and what could be done by social media companies to tackle it. The aim of the roundtable is to inform realistic yet innovative recommendations on how the online abuse of political figures should be managed. Due to the scale of the project and the number of actors involved, this will likely be the first of a number of roundtables on the Kindler, Gentler Politics report. Other roundtable topics will include a legal and a youth perspective.

Attendees

Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy), Rachel Fielden (WebRoots Democracy), Seyi Akiwowo (Glitch!UK), Chloe Colliver (ISD), Samuel Rowe (YOTI), Josie Fraser (HM Government National Technology Team), Josh Smith (CASM), Simon James (Cabinet Office), Fiyaz Mughal (TellMAMA), Alex Holmes (Diana Award), Chris Elliott ( The Ethical Journalism Network)

Defining hate crimes online (25 mins)

  • How should we define hate speech and what are the main issues that come with defining it?
  • What should constitute a hate crime online?

Responsibility (25 mins)

  • Whose responsibility is it to tackle online abuse?
  • When police are overstretched how can other industries offload some responsibility?
  • Do social media companies have the responsibility or the right to tackle online abuse when aren’t based in UK?

Behaviour change (25 mins)

  • Is it possible create a more social online etiquette?
  • How do we change online behaviour?
  • What incentives can be used to do this?

Anonymity vs Pseudonymity online (25 mins)

  • Can behaviour be improved by making online identities more accountable?
  • Will tackling anonymity online increase the likelihood of the successful prosecution of online hate crimes