In this second episode of our CREID Podcast series focusing on online speech, Emily Buchanan speaks to Haroon Baloch from Bytes for All in Pakistan and Dr Pshtiwan Faraj from Independent Media Organization in Kurdistan in Iraq to discuss how they have trained consumer research software to track and monitor hate speech on social media.
Initially, they consulted with a range of stakeholders to identify what key words (often offensive, demeaning and reinforcing existing prejudices) are being used to perpetuate hate speech against religious minorities before programming consumer research software, Brandwatch, to track the use of those key words and where these are being used with malicious and inciteful intent. Their research identifies who initiates hate speech campaigns on social media, and also how hate speech can spike around key events, such as elections. They warn that the right balance needs to be struck between curbing hate speech and allowing freedom of speech, and that some blunt instruments such as Internet shutdowns are not the answer for tackling the problem.
The cost of hate speech: Policy brief for Punjab (policy briefing)
Deeply ingrained prejudice fuels hate speech in Iraq (news-story)