Guidelines for newsrooms in dealing with hate speech

Hateful Commenting Online – Control Strategies for Newsrooms (English PDF of the white paper)

News sites and their editorial staffs in particular are confronted with the coarsening of network communication. With its practical “Hateful Commenting Online. Control Strategies for Newsrooms” guide, the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia has published a 10-point plan to combat hate speech online. This guide demonstrates how newsrooms can firmly crack down on hateful commenting in the comment sections of their websites and civilize escalating arguments. The measures which we recommend are the result of a research project of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia. This project which was realized with the support of Google Germany GmbH.

Among the analyses performed within the course of this study, the commissioned scientists Prof. Dr. Stephan Weichert (Hamburg Media School) and Dr. Leif Kramp (Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen) used a comment analysis to examine the discussion behaviour of users in online discourse processes. Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, RP ONLINE, SPIEGEL ONLINE, and tagesschau.de were available as cooperating partners. Furthermore, twelve expert panels were held with their newsrooms to discuss their prior practises and experiences.