Working Meeting (March '15)
[The full meeting summary can be accessed at this link.]
This working meeting, co-hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, brought together participants from multiple fields and perspectives, including academics, practitioners, and company representatives, from the Berkman and Institute for Strategic Dialogue communities who care deeply about youth-oriented hate speech online. The meeting was envisioned as one in a series of conversations, including both real-space and virtual engagements, which will deepen our understanding of the online hate speech phenomenon as it relates to youth and of the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to counter such speech. Certain conversations may focus on narrower topics within a broader set of hate speech phenomena that concern youth; the March 31 working meeting paid particular attention to violent extremism and its potential countermeasures, and sought to locate them within the broader set of relevant phenomena.
Two broad thematic areas structured discussion during the meeting: problems and solutions, respectively, related to youth-oriented online hate speech and violent extremism. Within this structure, discussion ranged widely across numerous themes (within and adjacent to the two broad areas noted above), reflecting the participants’ diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This report seeks to concisely summarize the conversation’s main themes and highlight certain suggestions for future action the meeting generated. In the following section, the main themes and observations listed include issues that participants dealt with explicitly and at length, as well as those that more quietly (and sometimes implicitly) surfaced at multiple points during the afternoon. Section III, which concerns suggested approaches for future action, does not comprehensively describe all ideas, large and small, that came up. Rather, it highlights a few suggestions that elicited a significant amount of interest from meeting participants, or which crystallized through the course of extended discussion and exploration.