“The increase of extremist hate websites, the use of the Internet and social media by extremist groups and individuals to propagate hate speech and incite racial violence, and the increased number of incidents of racist violence and crimes prompted by racist content on the Internet remain to be address, despite the adoption of positive measures,” the human rights expert said.

The Special Rapporteur highlighted that combating racism on the Internet requires a comprehensive and cohesive approach developed through dialogue and consultation amongst different actors, including governments, civil society organisations, Internet service providers and the private sector in general.

In his view, States should adopt legislative measures and further examine the link between various manifestations of racism on the Internet and hate crimes committed. “Additional measures such as self- and co-regulatory initiatives developed by service providers and other relevant actors may also be useful in making efforts more effective,” Mr. Ruteere said. “I believe that a possible way of countering racism on the Internet is through content diversification, in particular by promoting local content,” the expert said, inviting States to adopt concrete policies and strategies to make the Internet widely accessible and affordable to all. “Education about racist content on the Internet and awareness raising measures are also important tools.

Mutuma Ruteere, UN Special Rapporteur on Racism, has delivered 2 reports on contemporary forms of racism – online and in extremist groups.

Here’s report 1, and here’s report 2.

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