National Conference on Hate Crime and Bullying in the Age of Social Media, October 15th, 2015
UPDATE: Conference report now available
The conference took place in Hate Crime Awareness Week in 2015 and was funded by the Welsh Government and the Social Data Science Lab at Cardiff University. The conference was put together and designed in collaboration with a working group, consisting of Third Sector Organisations and Criminal Justice Agencies.
Social media has fundamentally altered the ways in which members of the public interact. Estimates put social media membership at approximately 2.5 billion non-unique users globally. While social media can be used to foster positive relationships, there is mounting evidence to suggest it is also being used in the commission of hate crimes and bullying. The 2014 All Wales Hate Crime Project evidenced that minorities and young people continue to face abuse and harassment on a daily basis, and new evidence from the Social Data Science Lab shows how these crimes are now migrating to Social Media.
Hate Crime and its commission online is now recognised as a priority by the UK Government. The sending of menacing messages via the Internet is now punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment (Malicious Communications Act 1998 as amended by the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2015). The Welsh Government continues to implement ‘Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents: A Framework for Action’ and the fast paced evolution of social media is providing significant challenges for partners and agencies.
Despite this recognition, practitioners can remain in the dark about the nature, prevalence and resources available to tackle cyberhate and bulling on social media. This conference addressed this knowledge gap via a series of keynote presentations from high-profile leaders in the field and via hands on workshops. The Conference drew upon attendee experiences to set out the current barriers and to identify potential solutions to draw together national recommendations. It was targeted at practitioners, policy makers and Criminal Justice Agencies.
Welcome from Chair Jamie Owen, BBC Cymru
Opening Address by Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
Safety for Children and Challenges (Claire Lilley, Head of Child Safety Online, NSPCC)
International and UK Context (Paul Giannasi, Ministry of Justice)
Challenges for Policing across Wales (Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales)
Challenges and Responses for Social Media (Nick Pickles, Head of Policy Twitter UK)
Workshop Session 1
Cyber Hate: Criminal Justice and the Law – Prosecuting Online Hate (Paul Giannasi, Ministry of Justice and Mike Whine, CST)
Don’t Feed the Trolls: Responses and Challenges of On-line Behaviour (Dr Amy Binns, University of Central Lancashire)
Online Safety and Practice in the UK (Andrew Williams and David Wright, South West Grid for Learning)
On-line Behaviour: How Young People use Social Media (Rachel Benson, Youth Cymru)
Workshop Session 2
Islamaphobia and the Far Right: Social Media Patterns and Challenges (Fiyaz Mughal, Tell MAMA)
Terrorist Incidents and the Propagation of Cyberhate (Professor Matthew Williams, Cardiff University)
Cyber Safety for Parents and Children (Andrew Williams and David Wright, South West Grid for Learning)
Revenge Porn and Sexting: What you need to know (Shereen Williams, Gwent-East Community Cohesion Co-ordinator)
Welcome and Opening Address by Lesley Griffiths AC/AM
Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales
Claire Lilley, Head of Child Safety Online, NSPCC
Nick Pickles, Head of Policy, Twitter UK
Paul Giannasi, UK Hate Crime Lead, Ministry of Justice
Professor Matthew Williams, Director Social Data Science Lab, Cardiff University: The Social Media Reaction to Woolwich Terror Attack: Tracing the Production and Propagation of Cyberhate
Shereen Williams, Regional Community Cohesion Co-ordinator, East Gwent: Revenge Porn and Sexting
Workshop Presentation Slides