Winning war against online hate

Behind the Christchurch terror attack last month and other events, has the been rising level of hate and incitement spread through social media and the internet.

“Governments are demanding action, holding inquiries and passing regulatory laws and technology companies are starting to take the problem more seriously,” says Dr Andre Oboler, a leading international expert in online hate and extremism.

He said new approaches including artificial intelligence are increasingly being used and demands are being made for more investment by technology companies in this space. “Still there are problems. Neither artificial intelligence nor increased staff will provide a complete solution according to a leading international expert in online hate and extremism.”

Dr Oboler, the CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute, will present a seminar at South Bank campus on Wednesday, April 17. He says rather than just talking about it as a problem, there needs to be a shift in the national conversation to examine what can or should be done to prevent online hate and extremism.

“There is a need for good law, a need for constant improvements by companies but there is also a need to speak about the professional ethics for individuals in the technology industry and role of civil society in helping to maintain a balance between competing rights.”

“There is also a need to maintain a role for human decision making and review in the processes. Those deliberately seeking to spread hate, manipulate elections or spread fake news will be able to work around AI. Stopping them will require smarter and better equipped people dedicated to responding.”

Dr Andre Oboler is CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the La Trobe Law School. He has been researching, responding to and raising awareness of the problem of online hate in social media since 2007 and through OHPI since its establishment in 2012. He is an expert member of the Australian Government’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, a former co-chair for the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism and has previously spoken on this topic around the world as a Distinguished Visitor for the IEEE Computer Society.

Media contact: Deborah Marshall 0413 156 601, [email protected]

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