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Media Against Hate

Uphold our ethical standards

Chaymae Lougmani

A plugin to counter hate speech online

Published on 2017-01-20

“The Hate Stoppers”, a group of young designers and developers launched on October 2016 a plugin called “Hate Free”. It aims to fight with hate speech online but without limiting freedom of expression. They developed this programme for the recent Peacehack, initiated by the organisation International Alert, which is aimed to find solutions for bringing peace and stopping violence. The plugin is not meant to block or hide the hate speech. Instead, it is designed to make people reflect on their ‘hate messages” before posting them online, like a hate checker.

Concretely, if you type something hateful, the programme would analyse it using Hatebase, the non-profit online platform that collects data derogatory terms around the world. Then the message will pop up explaining that you are planning to post a hateful message and let you decide if you want to proceed.

The plugin is already available and can be used with Google Chrome.

Chaymae Lougmani, one of the creators of the plugin, explained the idea behind this programme:

We built HateFree to rise awareness about hate speech in digital platforms. The plugin detects the user’s input, takes it through a hate API and provides feedback when hate words are detected.

HateFree doesn’t stop users from sending their messages but push them to reflect on their behaviour and review their messages before sending them. We all agreed that banning or blocking hate speech is a complex matter, we would tread a delicate path, with the risk of being labeled against freedom of speech.