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 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 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.