Strengthening Reconciliation Processes in Sri Lanka (SRP)

28 April 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Expert Debate
The Deep Dive format gives the session hosts and the participants a time frame of 180 minutes to delve deeply into the topic and to deal intensively with the characteristics of it.
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?

The corrosive role social media can play in the dissemination of hate and incitement to violence has become painfully obvious in recent years: In Myanmar, Facebook’s reach was exploited to carry out a hate campaign against the Rohingya people; in the Christchurch Mosque Shootings, a gunman broadcast his actions live on Facebook; and in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka Easter Bombings, social media was used to incite violence against Muslim citizens. Online hate speech and its spillover effects into the physical world pose a challenge that modern societies are yet to effectively counter.

This first part of the Deep Dive focuses on whether and how regulatory frameworks for social media should be established to deal with online hate speech and its potentially violent effects. Does regulation pose a necessary remedy to curtail online hate speech? Or does it present a pathway into censorship, infringing on the right to freedom of expression?


Dr Kathryn Nwajiaku-Dahou
Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom
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Dr Tobias Feakin
Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Australia
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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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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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