Jusletter IT

Hate Speech and the current role of participative platforms

The Swiss perspective

  • Autor/Autorin: Ryan Vannin
  • Beitragsart: Internetrecht
  • Region: Schweiz
  • Rechtsgebiete: Internetrecht
  • DOI: 10.38023/09afad62-8c69-4c47-9a8a-ce4e906a2047
  • Zitiervorschlag: Ryan Vannin, Hate Speech and the current role of participative platforms, in: Jusletter IT 30. September 2020
The language of hatred is a complex phenomenon, which still does not know a universally recognized definition. There are also obstacles in identifying and prosecuting those who publish and disseminate hate content, especially because Internet giants such as Facebook and Twitter benefit from a certain legislative immunity and mostly operate in a self-regulated environment. The Swiss legislator, so far, opted for a collaborative approach, where law enforcement authorities involve the platforms only in case of anonymity of the perpetrator or when the published content is deemed illegal and has to be blocked or removed. The intention is to describe the role played by participative platforms and the current legal perspective in Switzerland in combating Hate Speech.

Table of contents

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Defining Hate Speech online
  • 2.1. Freedom of Expression
  • 2.2. Limits to the Freedom of Expression
  • 2.3. Applicable provisions against hate speech
  • 2.4. Relevant punishable acts
  • 2.4.1. Hate against groups of people
  • 2.4.2. Hate against individuals
  • 2.5. How online speech occurs
  • 2.5.1. The meaning of public reach
  • 2.5.2. The occurrence of hate speech
  • 2.5.3. Exposure and sharing of hate content
  • 3. The role of participative platforms
  • 3.1. Hints on Internet governance
  • 3.2. Participative platforms as media
  • 3.2.1. Immunity of the media
  • 3.2.2. Media as defenders of freedom of expression
  • 3.2.3. Excursus: The Christchurch massacre
  • 3.3. Participative platforms as «gatekeepers» and «good samaritans»
  • 3.3.1. An overview
  • 3.3.2. Gatekeeping
  • Content removal requested by Courts or authorities
  • Pre-emptive measures
  • 3.3.3. Acting as good Samaritans
  • The interests at stake
  • Self-regulation
  • 3.4. The outlook
  • 4. Conclusions

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