SASNET Workshop on Online Hate in India and Sweden
The participants from India were: Karen Gabriel from Delhi University; Vibodh Parthasarathi from Jamia Millia Islamiya Univeristy, Delhi; Japreet Grewal and Zeenab Aneez from the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore; and Divya Rajagopal, from the Economic Times, Mumbai. The participants from Scandinavia were Andreas Mattsson, Nils Gustafsson, and Maria Tonini, from Lund University; and Emma Holten, from Krogerup Höjskole, Denmark.
The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a diverse range of scholars, journalists, and activists from Sweden and India to reflect upon the similarities and differences in patterns of online harassment, abuse and hate in the two countries. The workshop was also the first step towards the publication of a book on online hate in comparative perspective.
The workshop started on February 9 with a presentation by Robert Jacobsson, development manager at Sveriges Radio, who spoke about his experiences of online hate and about how Sveriges Radio tackles abusive comments on social media. After the presentation, participants started brainstorming and presenting their ideas for the book. Based on shared interest, the participants were divided in small teams and worked on envisioning key themes. The group work was followed by a general discussion.
On February 10th, the workshop opened with a panel discussion called “Digital Do’s and Dont’s: Perspectives from India”, in the context of Media Evolution’s World’s Best Morning series. About 60 people from various Swedish media organizations attended the discussion, which was followed by a productive Q&A session and an informal mingle over breakfast. After the panel discussion, the workshop participants got to work again, this time focusing on creating a preliminary outline for the book.
The workshop received positive feedback both from the participants and from the staff at Media Evolution. The next stage of the Online Hate project involves collecting chapter outlines from each contributor; identifying and contacting potential publishers; and organizing an event in India where all the participants will share their papers/chapters.