26 Dec “STOP! Hate Speech” campaign in BiH
The Press and Online Media Council in BiH, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), published the analysis of the “STOP! Hate Speech” campaign.
From 1 September to 16 October, this campaign aimed to monitor user comments across 12 BiH web portals. This research suggests that, whilst hate speech is still present online, it has reduced. The results show that, before and after the elections, insults, vulgarities, and quibbling dominated online portal comments, while relatively few radical calls to commit murder, as well as extreme forms of hate speech, were registered. These results may suggest, among other things, that media outlet newsrooms have exerted additional efforts to reduce the number of negative comments.
The Press and Online Media Council in BiH co-operates with editors who strive to clean their media space of harmful speech and discriminatory rhetoric. According to Executive Director of the Press Council in BiH:
“Hate speech, discriminatory and inciting speech does not represent freedom of speech but is abuse and is punishable under the law. In January 2022, the Press and Online Media Council adopted the Code for Print and Online Media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which stipulates the editor’s duty to remove comments that constitute hate speech. In extreme cases, editors are obliged to co-operate with the police and prosecutor’s offices to reveal the identity of persons who abuse freedom of speech.”
Reference from the official website of OSCE