The guiding principle of the presented project is to work with minorities targeted by hate speech. It is assumed that the project will focus its activities on cooperation with representatives of six groups: Africans, Muslims, LGBT, Roma, Ukrainians and Jews.

 

We have selected three fields of activity aimed at preventing hate speech: media monitoring, legal action and education

Research module

Within this module, our aim is to provide reliable knowledge to allow a serious discussion on the issue of hate speech in Poland, and to prepare relevant countermeasures. The module will comprise the following tasks:

  • Preparing six evaluations, containing summaries of existing data (social surveys, reports and other evaluations), profiled for each specific minority group (e.g. Hate Speech against Roma; Status of the Research, etc.). The evaluations will be written in consultation with representatives of minorities or NGOs representing them. Each evaluation will be supplemented with the context of the study and methods of interpreting it (explaining the research methodology), which will allow the data to be used correctly.
  • Developing standards for describing hate speech on the Polish Internet (including the choice of topics for monitoring, source texts for analysis, and data-processing methods). For this, we will use tools developed by the Local Knowledge Foundation for the Minority Report project, as well as conclusions from the ongoing work of the Council for the Prevention of Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, at the Polish Ministry of Administration and Digitisation.
  • Monitoring cases of hate speech against defined groups (media monitoring, tracking posts from selected online locations, news from Internet users) and building up a database of reported examples of hate speech, catalogued according to defined parameters (group, place of occurrence, issue in question).
  • Summarising all the research and analytical activities by compiling a comprehensive resource on the status of related research. After review, the book will be published as an e-book, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.

Legal module

The team involved in the legal module aims to devise legal instruments to permit active assistance in specific cases of hate speech and hate crimes reported by minorities. The team’s tasks are as follows:

 

  • Producing and disseminating (among the project beneficiaries) notification templates for reporting criminal offences to the public prosecutor’s office, in accordance with Art. 119, 256 and 257 of the Criminal Code, as well as templates for official notifications to Internet providers as per the Act on Providing Services by Electronic Means, the “notice and takedown” procedure.
  • Drafting (at the request of organisations and individuals) criminal offence notifications to the public prosecutor’s office, in accordance with Art. 119, 256 and 257 of the Criminal Code, based on pre-drafted templates and monitoring carried out by the research team (approx. 25 notifications during the project). The lawyers will observe the most important cases, and report on their progress via the project’s website (approx. 7 cases). The legal team will also offer its assistance in more complex cases (e.g. acting as observers at trials).
  • Submitting official notifications to providers, requesting the removal of hateful content under Art. 14 of the Act on Providing Services by Electronic Means (approx. 25 notifications to be submitted throughout the project).
  • Advocacy activities: drafting position papers and making appeals to the authorities and public prosecutors in order to draw attention to issues of hatred and misapplication of the law.
  • Keeping the project’s website up to date with information on major cases dismissed by the public prosecutor’s office, legal sentences, good practice for providers, sentences passed by the European Court of Human Rights, and UN Human Rights Committee decisions regarding hate speech. There will also be news about important publications, and reports on hate speech and modern technology.
  • Collecting statistical data and information about cases taken on as part of the project, to be passed on to relevant international monitoring bodies.
  • Summing up all the activities in the form of a manual for minority groups – How to Deal with Hate Speech. Legal Aspects, a compilation of the best practices and legal interventions. The manual will cover the basics of freedom of speech, international standards pertaining to hate speech, and an analysis of how cases involving hate speech online are processed by the Polish law-enforcement bodies and judiciary, as compared to the standards and rulings of international institutions. The manual will be devoted entirely to hate speech online, as no specialised material has ever been published on the topic. The completed manual will be reviewed by an IT/criminology specialist and prosecutor’s office and police representatives. An e-version of the manual will be available for download on the project’s website.

Educational module

The activities in this module will be implemented with support from our project partner, the KEN Association, which organises workshops for young people and adults on combating discrimination and intolerance.

 

The team working on this module will focus on producing educational materials to enable minority groups and organisations or institutions supporting them to help change the attitudes of students, teachers and officials. They will include professionally produced videos, sociological interviews accompanied by photos, and analyses of interviews with representatives of minorities. They will also serve as illustrative teaching materials for schools (we will prepare lesson plans together with minorities in order to demonstrate practical applications for the materials), anti-discrimination workshops and presentations of selected groups’ cultures.

 

To achieve this, we are planning to:

  • Prepare and produce high-quality video content presenting the life of minorities – short films portraying representatives of various minority groups. The main aim of these films is to draw the attention of viewers (who are used to flashy visuals) onto the subject of minorities, then refer them to more in-depth analyses (sociological surveys, photographs) drafted during the project. The films will be uploaded to YouTube.
  • Compile, analyse and share on the project’s website information about available educational tools (e.g. films, plans for lessons and workshops) on the subject of minority groups and discrimination.
  • Outline scenarios for interviews, so that we can depict the lives of minorities, show their socio-historical background, and underline problems of discrimination.
  • Conduct interviews (oral histories) with representatives of six minority groups, complemented by short films showing their lives and cultures. The videos will be uploaded to the project’s online video repository, tagged with selected keywords to assist in indexing and online searches. Another desired effect is to make sure that our films reach the widest audience, so our message gets out to people seeking information about Africans, Muslims, LGBT, Roma, Ukrainians and Jews.
  • Draft plainly written commentaries on the films, offering a sociological analysis of the minority cultures and their customs.
  • Develop an e-book (for teachers, students, public institutions, and NGOs) containing (a) sample lesson and workshop plans using our video materials and commentaries, and (b) an in-depth analysis of the “oral histories” we have gathered, demonstrating the lives of minorities and their problems in a broader socio-historical context.