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On May 4th, 2018, ICDO partnered with a diverse team of students from the International Webster University in Vienna to host a lecture and panel discussion supporting the “No Home for Hate” campaign. The event brought together like-minded individuals to discuss issues such as the forces behind hate speech, social media’s effects on perception of women in society, censorship’s relationship to hate speech worldwide, strategies for combating hate speech, personal experiences and more.

Ellen Adams with her opening statements.

The event included a welcome address by Dr. Bradley Wiggins, Head of the Media department at Webster Vienna Private University and Dr. Anthony Löwstedt, ICDO Advisor and Professor of Media Communications at Webster University. A presentation followed about the online campaign “No Home for Hate” by media ethics students Julia Shaubach and ICDO Media Communications Intern, Ellen Adams. The Presentation highlighted examples of hate speech seen in online platforms in Austria, such as the story of Vienna’s New Year’s baby, Asel born to Muslim parents Naime and Alper Tamga. Read more on their story here.

Speakers, Mag. Verena Fabris who works with Beratungsstelle Extremismus and is on the No Hate Speech Komitee in Austria, and ZARA’sZivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit (the only organization in Vienna dealing with legal elements of hate speech) Representative Lukas Gottschamel, later joined in the panel discussion with ICDO President and CEO, Josipa Palac. Heather Wokusch, a women’s rights expert and activist moderated the event, taking questions and testimonies of the young women from the audience.

The discussion closed with Heather Wokush: “We have real-life examples [of hate speech] all over the place and… sometimes people do think it is easier to pick on women.”

We hope that with the efforts from the No Home for Hate campaign, the conference, ICDO, and other actors, these dynamics change, and hate speech disappears from the public forum in the coming years.

Plan for the conference.