Free Speech v.s Hate Speech in Bulgaria

Bluelink is launching a campaign "Free Speech v.s Hate Speech: Online security for Environmental, gender and human rights activists in Bulgaria" to reasearch ways, routs and consequences of online hate speech against civil society activists in Bulgaria as well as to give a start to effective counteractions that activsts can use in their work.

Activists, CSOs and citizens, supporting human, gender or environmental rights, are experiencing increasing pressure online. It involves daily hate speech, abusive rhetoric, innuendo and outright threats, aiming to silence their voices and compromise their views, causes and efforts. Rooted in mainstream political and media communication, hate speech against civil society is carried over, normalized and trivialized across internet communication and social networks. This weakens the actions of authorities, undermines policy responses and creates a sense of impunity for perpetrators. The result is aggression and violence in real life and suppressed civil society voices.
Building upon BlueLink’s ongoing studies and coordination of action responses by civil society, and upholding women’s rights, this campaign will inform and empower activists and their organisations by:
• increasing understanding of the forms and mechanisms of online pressure that they are subjected to;
• equip them with skills and know-how for coordinated action against it; and
• raise their and the general public’s awareness on the manipulations and hate speech against civil society, the purpose and identity of their perpetrators.

The duration of the project is 10 September - 31 December 2018.

The project is supported by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).