Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse

This report presents the findings of a research project investigating the scale and nature of online hateful speech in France. It examines different
categories of hateful speech, spanning race, gender, sexuality, religion and disability. Using social media data analytic tools that combine machine learning and natural language processing with qualitative analysis, the report provides a detailed analysis of
the dynamics of the most prevalent types of hateful speech across social media platforms in France. This report also recommends some steps to be taken by technology companies, government and civil society organisations to counter hateful speech
online. Part of the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI), a strategic partnership between the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and Facebook, this report aims to inform both civil society and policymakers’ responses to online hate.

About the authors
Cooper Gatewood
Cooper is a manager within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, focusing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper also develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks to measure the impact of a number of ISD’s intervention projects. Cooper is currently contributing to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed
to influence and disrupt election processes. He also manages the OCCI in France, co-ordinating activities to support civil society’s response to hate and extremism online. In addition, Cooper conducts ongoing evaluation of a number of ISD’s programmes, including Be Internet Citizens and Young Digital Leaders. Cooper holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Master in International Security from Sciences Po.

Cécile Guerin
Cécile Guerin is a co-ordinator at ISD, supporting the organisation’s European development and analysis work. She works on the OCCI, a Facebook-funded project which aims to upscale civil society efforts against hate speech and extremism online. Cécile also contributes to ISD’s research and policy work, with a focus on social media analysis and network mapping related to hate speech, extremism and disinformation online. She has written for a range of publications, including the Guardian, Prospect and the Independent. Cécile holds an MSc in International History from the London School of Economics and an MA in English from the École Normale Supérieure in France.

The Online Ecosystem of the German Far-Right

This report presents the findings of a research project of ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit about the alternative online-ecosystem of the far-right, including alternative social media platforms and alternative media outlets. While these platforms draw in a global audience this report focuses specifically on the German speaking and Germany-focused communities and outlets within this ecosystem. Drawing together ISD’s digital ethnographic work across dozens of forums and channels with the latest in machine learning and natural language processing, this report provides an overview over the size and nature of the far-right communities on these platforms the motivations for participating in these communities and assesses whether banning far-right groups from mainstream platforms leads to the displacement of their followers to ‘alternative’ platforms. We also analyse the role of alternative ‘news’ outlets in disseminating far right concepts, drawing on the‘Hate Observatory’, a joint initiative of ISD and the MIT Media Lab , based on their Media Cloud software, and compare the frequency and types of coverage of far-right themes in mainstream and alternative media. This report also recommends steps to be taken by tech companies, government, civil society and researchers to counter the far-right online.