Stop Hate Speech

Countering Online Hate in Switzerland

Project duration:

Project Consortium:
Public Discourse Foundation (CH)
ETH Zurich (CH)
University of Zurich (CH)


Project Description:

Stop Hate Speech combines natural language processing and machine learning with civil society engagement to counter online hate speech. The project is led by the Public Discourse Foundation and implemented in close collaboration with the Digital Democracy Lab (UZH) and the Public Policy Group and Immigration Policy Lab (ETH). From 2020 to 2022, the project was generously supported by InnoSuisse and from 2021 to 2022 also by a grant from BAKOM, the Swiss Federal Office of Communications.

The project seeks to algorithmically detect hate speech across a variety of online venues (newspaper and social media) and to generate actionable knowledge about effective strategies for counter speech. For this purpose, the project team will develop a deep learning pipeline for automatic hate speech detection and evaluate a range of promising counter speech strategies with experimental methods. The close cooperation with alliance F and Swiss media outlets ensures that the scientific findings directly translate into effective detection and reduction of online hate speech. The goal is to improve the quality of public discourse and to minimize offline consequences of hostile online behavior.

The Digital Democracy Lab at University of Zurich is part of the broader Digital Society Initiative of the university. As part of the DSI Community Democracy Prof. Fabrizio Gilardi and Prof. Karsten Donnay are involved in the project.