What happens online…does not stay online

Photo: Atdhe Mulla/K2.0

Roundtable “What happens online…does not stay online” was held at the National Museum of Kosovo on March 29.

The event, organized by Kosovo 2.0 within the Resilience project, sought to look at the phenomenon of online hate speech and disinformation, and the role that the media, self-regulatory bodies, institutions, civil society organizations and citizens can play in combating the phenomenon by making the digital world a safer space.

The event aimed to promote a discussion between the media, media experts, media development organizations and self-regulatory bodies on the challenges and opportunities of combating hate speech in the media, and particularly online media and social networks.

Photo: Atdhe Mulla/K2.0

During the event, Besa Luci, editor-in-chief of Kosovo 2.0, moderated a discussion between Violeta Hyseni Kelmendi, board member of the Independent Media Commission of Kosovo, Jeton Mehmeti, author of the factsheet “National regulatory and self-regulatory framework against hate speech and disinformation in Kosovo”, Tamás Berecz, operational manager of the International Network Against Cyber Hate and Ardita Zejnullahu, executive director of the Association of Broadcast Media of Kosovo.

Photo: Atdhe Mulla/K2.0

Throughout the discussion, with an in-person attendance of more than 20 people and around 300 views online, participants presented the role and responsibilities of media regulatory and self-regulatory bodies in Kosovo, the good practices of CSOs organizations fighting for more accountability of social media platforms in combating hate speech and disinformation in the EU, as well as the challenges in regulating an ever changing digital world. The discussion touched upon also current processes of legal development in Kosovo, such as the amendment of the Law on the IMC which would enable this body to also monitor media content online, not only broadcast and also give this body larger competencies on strengthening media literacy skills among media users. The recent decision of the IMC to ban state-owned Russian platforms from Kosovo, and what this means for democracy and the freedom of speech, was also discussed.

Finally, guests agreed on the crucial importance of raising the capacity and professional responsibility of journalists, editors, civil society and self-regulatory bodies in combating hate speech and disinformation, as well as the participation of citizens through education and watchdog initiatives.

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Funded by the European Union

The regional program RESILIENCE: Civil society action to reaffirm media freedom and counter disinformation and hateful propaganda in Western Balkans and Turkey’ is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by partner organizations SEENPMAlbanian Media InstituteMediacentar Sarajevo, Kosovo 2.0Montenegrin Media InstituteMacedonian Institute for MediaNovi Sad School of JournalismPeace Institute and Bianet.

This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of SEENPM and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.