Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP)

Virtual Session 12

DEEP DIVE: Social Media and Peacebuilding – Challenges and Opportunities I

Regulating Social Media – Curtailing Online Hate Speech or a Pathway into Censorship?

Main Questions
  • How should the challenges of online hate speech and disinformation be approached at a policy level?

  • How can social media be used as a force for good in peacebuilding?

Main Theses, Thoughts and Ideas

The first session, which focused on the policy-level debate on regulating social media with specific reference to Germany’s Netz DG law, highlighted the need for context considerations, transparency, widespread public debate & multi-stakeholder involvement in lawmaking processes & in addressing the power imbalance therein. Dealing with the root causes of hate speech & incitement to violence i.e. human behaviour & social constructs at a national level was also deemed necessary.

This aspect was explored further in the second session which shed light on peacebuilding practitioners’ initiatives vis-à-vis content creation, M&E, & capacity building to increase social media literacy & awareness of hate speech trends. The discussion emphasized combining online & offline strategies for impactful interventions & the need for more research and M&E based initiatives in view of evolving global issues & social media being an evolving space.


Dr Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou
Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom
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Dr Volker Köhler
Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Germany
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Gabrielle Guillemin
Article 19
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Aaranya Rajasingam
Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
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Current Topics

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The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


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