m!M held a round table “Hate speech in online media”

The NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro (m!M) held a round table on August 27, 2020, at the hotel CentreVille. The results of the research “Hate speech in online media” were presented at the round table, within the framework of the project “Greater tolerance = less discrimination”, which was financially supported by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.

The analysis was conducted between February the 20 and March 20 and aimed at finding out whether there were hate speech in the Montenegrin online media, as well as to determine the statistics of how many such cases existed and which minority groups were most affected by it. In the analyzed period, the media published a total of 4818 texts in three sections, with the largest number of texts published on the portal: Cafe del Montenegro, followed by Vijesti, Portal Analitika and Fos Media. Only the Fos Media portal had less than a thousand texts in the analyzed period. In addition to the texts, the analysis also included the comments published below them. Most of the comments were related to texts describing the current lithium, but also texts in which news related to coronavirus were published. Hate speech was found in just over 1.5% of the texts, or 75 of them. It was usually not directly visible in the texts, but in the comments. When it comes to the media in which hate speech was found, it was most represented on the Vijesti portal, and the least on the Fos Media portal. Individual hate speech was recorded in 28 texts on the Vijesti portal, 21 texts on the CDM portal, in 16 texts published on the Analitika portal and 14 texts on the Fos Media portal. The analyzed portals had a huge number of comments on the texts, which were often repeated in the same or in different texts. It is necessary for the editorial office to invest more effort and work in combating this phenomenon. Hate speech is still available in the online media, and comments that are not controlled and deleted regularly still take precedence. The conclusions of the research are:

– The media continue to base their work on factual reporting, without entering into any deeper analysis.

– On the portals, quantity still prevails in relation to quality. – Hate speech is still available in online media and comments that are not controlled and deleted regularly still have priority. Among others, the round table was attended by representatives of CEDEM and the Civic Alliance, and the problems of minority communities were discussed, and the Roma population attracted the most attention. Some of the problems that have been emphasized are the problem with the lack of personal documents, the issue of language barriers, the lack of professional translators, as well as solving the problem of the legal status of minorities. Apart from the Roma population, the problem of asylum seekers, of which there is an increasing number in Montenegro, was also mentioned. The round table “Hate speech in online media” is the last activity within the project “Greater tolerance = less discrimination”.

The project conducted research on hate speech on portals, a seminar on anti-discrimination, as well as a series of articles on the position of minority and marginalized groups on portals www.mladiniksica.me and www.mladiberana.me .

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