Swiss launch platform to report racist speech online

“Racist hate speech on the Internet endangers social cohesion in society,” says the Federal Commission against Racism. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

Switzerland has a new platform for reporting racist hate speech on the Internet, the Federal Commission against Racism (FCR) has announced.

This content was published on November 30, 2021

The new reporting platformExternal link “simplifies the reporting of racist hate speech on the Internet”, the FCR said in a statementExternal link on Tuesday. This pilot project offers the public, professionals and organisations “the possibility to report racist content they have seen on the Internet with just a few clicks”.

According to the FCR, the reported data will be recorded and analysed in a database. This will provide Switzerland with an overview of the type and extent of racist hate speech on the Internet. For the time being, the FCR will not forward cases to judicial authorities for possible criminal prosecution but will support reporting persons who wish to file charges, the commission told news agency Keystone-SDA.

“Racist hate speech on the Internet endangers social cohesion in society,” the FCR wrote in its statement. “Until now, there has been no way for the public to report such cases to a centralised body. This gap will now be closed with the reporting platform.”

The FCR, an independent advisory body set up by the government in 1995, defines racist hate speech on the Internet as statements in written, audio or visual form that “disparage a person or group of persons on the basis of their ‘race’, skin colour, ethnicity, national origin or religion, incite hatred against them or advocate, promote or justify this”.

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