Almost 200 preliminary investigations and more than 30 final convictions – that is the balance sheet of the Bavarian Justice and Media Initiative against online hatred, launched in October 2019. On the Europe-wide day of action for those affected by hate crime, Bavaria’s Justice Minister Georg Eisenreich speaks of a success: “The project is an important step in the fight against hate speech.”
Mostly to determine the originator
In the vast majority of cases, the originators of hate messages could be identified on the Internet. And that although the investigations are often very complex and lead abroad.
The Ministry of Justice and the Bavarian State Center for New Media (BLM) launched the “Justice and Media – Consistently Against Hate” initiative almost two years ago. Since then, there have been almost 250 test requests, the two houses announced.
Access planned for freelance journalists
In the future, freelance journalists – regardless of media companies – should have direct access to the online reporting process. “A logical step,” said BLM President Siegfried Schneider. “The higher the bandwidth, the stronger the preventive effect of the project.”
The project aims to encourage media workers to report hate postings on their online channels to the public prosecutor, not just to delete them. For the Europe-wide day of action the ministry and the BLM host an online event: “Will journalism be a test of courage? Effects of hatred – on the web and on the street”.