The Project

Hatemeter: what is it?

Project Hatemeter aims at systematising, augmenting and sharing knowledge on Anti-Muslim hatred online, and at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of NGO/CSOs in preventing and tackling Islamophobia at EU level, by developing and testing an ICT tool (i.e., HATEMETER platform) that automatically monitors and analyses Internet and social media data on the phenomenon, and produces computer-assisted responses and hints to support counter-narratives and awareness raising campaigns.

Hatemeter: what does it do?

Hatemeter will adopt a multidimensional approach to prevent and tackle Anti-Muslim hatred online at EU level, through a strategic use of Internet and social media. This approach to the Anti-Muslim hatred management will bring current methods to combat Islamophobia online to a next stage, creating the conditions to:

  1. raise a better understanding on Anti-Muslim hatred online by exploiting the Internet and social media potential;
  2. deliver the Hatemeter platform to support NGO/CSOs in preventing and tackling Anti-Muslim hatred online;
  3. strengthening cooperation among key actors and ensuring the widest circulation and a long term impact of project results on future research streams and operational strategies.

Backed on a strong interdisciplinary effort (criminology, social sciences, computer sciences, statistics, and law), firstly Hatemeter will scope the online problem and assess background experiences, needs and aspirations of NGO/CSOs and other target stakeholder groups, in order to draft guidelines on the socio-technical requirements of the ICT tool. The Hatemeter platform will use a combination of natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and big data analytics/visualisation to:

  1. identify and systematise in real-time actual “red flags” of Anti-Muslim hate speech and/or possible related threats online (Real-time Identification);
  2. understand and assess the sets of features and patterns associated with trends of Islamophobia online (In-depth Understanding);
  3. develop an effective tactical/strategic planning against Anti-Muslim hatred online through the adoption of the innovative Computer Assisted Persuasion (CAP) approach (Tactical/Strategic Response);
  4. produce an accurate counter-narrative framework for preventing and tackling Islamophobia online, and building knowledge-based and tailored awareness raising campaigns (Counter-Narratives Production).

The Hatemeter platform will be piloted and tested with three NGO/CSOs of EU MSs where the magnitude of the problem is considerable but no systematic responses has been implemented: France, Italy and the United Kingdom), thus enabling Hatemeter to address several objectives of the: 1) EC Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online; 2) EU “Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights – Tolerance and Respect: Preventing and Combating anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim Hatred in Europe”; 3) “Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online”; 4) “European Agenda on Security”.

In order to strengthen cooperation between key actors and to ensure the widest circulation and a long term impact of project results on future research streams and operational strategies, the project will favour capacity building, training, sustainability and transferability of the Hatemeter platform among other target stakeholder groups (e.g., LEAs, journalists/media, civil servants) across the EU and for other forms of hate speech, through the building of the “EU laboratory on Internet and social media for countering online Anti-Muslim hate speech”, namely the Hatemeter Lab.

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With the financial support of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020)
European Commission – Directorate-General Justice and Consumers