Meet the SELMA Education Task Force: Discussing educational solutions to online hate speech

The SELMA project has set up an Education Task Force against online hate speech. This group of experts, comprising Ministry of Education (MoE) representatives, key social media platforms, and other public and private experts, will establish a forum for discussion around awareness raising and education solutions to online hate speech and will help SELMA project partners to prioritise needs.

"The Education Task Force plays an important role in the development of the SELMA project because it allows us to benefit from the expertise and guidance of a wide variety of stakeholders that can approach the project and the topic from different points of view. Moreover, the involvement of the main stakeholders in Europe is fundamental for having a long-lasting impact beyond the two years of the project", stated Hans Martens, SELMA project manager and coordinator of the Education Task Force.

In summary, the Education Task Force is a meeting point to discuss solutions against hate speech that aims:

  • To develop a strategic approach to online hate speech and a comprehensive understanding of how the topic is addressed across Europe, with a particular view on national education policies and actions.
  • To give a steer to the SELMA project roadmap, discussing key project milestones, such as the SELMA Toolkit, hackathon and final conference.
  • To provide a platform for exchange between different stakeholders in the field, identifying best practices to share and challenges to overcome.
  • To explore synergies and how to move forward.

From policy makers to social media platforms and scholars

The variety of organisations and profiles that compose the Education Task Force ensures a rich exchange of ideas among different stakeholders and points of view that are beyond project partners' scopes.

The members of the Education Task Force are the following:

  • Adina Braha-Honciuc (Microsoft)
  • Aibhinn Kelleher (Facebook)
  • Artemis Giotsa (Departement of Early Childhood Education, University of Ioannina)
  • Asterios Ntais (Ministry of Education, Greece)
  • Bert Pieters (Mediawijs – Flemish Knowledge Center for Digital and Media Literacy)
  • Catherine Blaya (EU Kids Online)
  • Isabell Rausch Jarolimek (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women an Youth, Germany)
  • Jacqueline Beauchere (Microsoft)
  • Jeff Kaufmann (BEE SECURE, Safer Internet Centre Luxembourg)
  • Jesper Mørkholt (SSP Jammerbugt)
  • Lillian Markaki (Greek Society of Adolescent Health)
  • Natasha Hanckel-Spice (Institute for Strategic Dialogue - ISD)
  • Shahneila Saeed (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment)
  • Stephen Turner (Twitter)
  • Dr Victoria Nash (Oxford Internet Institute)

The Education Task Force met for the first time in September 2018. Some members met again during the SELMA "Hacking Hate" hackathon in December. In 2019, the members of the Education Task Force will meet two other times, once in spring and once in autumn. Meanwhile, members will be actively involved throughout the project life-cycle, identifying educational policies and practices that are already in place, determining the ones that are missing, or providing advice on how to make a difference with active campaigning.

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