ARTICLE 19 has written to Italian Ministers asking them to include civil society in a working group of experts set up to tackle hate speech online. To date, 16 members have been appointed to the group but none of them represent civil society.
The letter outlines ARTICLE 19’s conviction, “that civil society has a fundamental role to play in the fight against hate speech, as well as intolerance and discrimination. We believe that its presence in the group of experts could provide a valuable and necessary contribution, while its absence would undermine its inclusiveness and legitimacy. We are aware that the working group intends to consult with a wide range of stakeholders from the private and the public sector and we would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the discussion by providing our expertise on the application of international standards on freedom of expression to national contexts. ”
We urge the Italian government to guarantee the participation of civil society to the working group from its inception to make sure it can make vital contributions to the decision-making processes.
Read the full letter here.