The recent European Commission Communication COM (2017) 555 of 29 September 2017, “Combating illegal content online. Towards greater accountability of online platforms”, cites the fact that some 8,000 tweets on Twitter, some 1,000 photos on Instagram, 60,000 Google searches and 70,000 YouTube videos are currently published every second. According to the Communication itself, “it is worrying to think of the enormous amount of illegal content that can be published and disseminated online every day”. It is important to note that “What is illegal in the real world is also illegal in the virtual world”- Incitement to hatred, racist and xenophobic speech inciting violence are illegal in the EU and must therefore also be pursued on online platforms.
Faced with the growing challenge of online hate speech, national institutions and authorities in Spain do not yet have coordinated strategies for action. The efforts made by Spanish institutions in recent years to adapt regulations and legislation to these challenges must be acknowledged, but in the specific case of online hate speech it is necessary to strengthen coordination and the establishment of joint action strategies.
This coordination and dialogue for common action should not be confined to the institutional sphere, but should be a strategy that includes all sectors, especially civil society organisations active in this field and the online platforms themselves, in order to establish a solid basis for dialogue and cooperation between all parties involved in the prevention of online hate speech.