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EU publishes the 6th Evaluation of the Code of Conduct against hate speech online [editar]

12.5% of the cases are Anti-Roma hate speeches


EU publishes the 6th Evaluation of the Code of Conduct against hate speech online

The report collects cases of hate speech on social media reported by entities in the 22 Member States during 5 weeks of 2021. The evaluation shows that Anti-Roma hate speech remains widespread across Europe and that this type of speech has increased from 10% of cases to 12.5%.

The European Commission published today the results of its sixth evaluation of the Code of Conduct against illegal hate speech online. The results show an ambiguous picture, as IT companies (Information Technology, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) assessed 81% of notifications within 24 hours and removed an average of 62.5% of the content notified to them. These results are lower than the average recorded in 2019 and 2020. While some companies have improved, results for others have clearly worsened. As in previous monitoring rounds, a main weakness continues to be insufficient feedback to user’s notifications. A novelty in this year's evaluation is the information provided by IT companies about measures they have taken to counter hate speech, including actions to automatically detect such content.

The sixth evaluation shows that on average IT companies assessed 81% of the notifications in less than 24 hours, which is lower than the 2020's average of 90,4%.

IT companies removed 62,5% of the content notified to them, which is lower than the average of 71% recorded in 2019 and 2020.

Removal rates varied depending on the severity of hateful content. Only 69% of content calling for murder or violence against specific groups was removed, while 55% of the content using defamatory words or pictures aiming at certain groups was removed. Conversely, in 2020, the respective results were 83,5% and 57.8%.

IT companies gave feedback to 60,3% of the notifications received, which is lower than during the previous monitoring exercise (67.1%).

In this monitoring exercise, sexual orientation is the most commonly reported ground of hate speech (18,2%) followed by xenophobia (18%) and Anti-gypsyism (12.5%).

These data indicate two things: on the one hand, that Anti-Roma hate speech is still widespread across Europe (it was also the third main cause of hate speech last year), and that Anti-Roma hate speech has increased from 10% of cases to 12.5% (i.e. 568 of the reported cases were Anti-Roma hate speech).

In the case of Spain, Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) has once again participated in this monitoring round, far exceeding the outcomes of previous years, with 177 cases reported (108 in 2020), a level of cases only surpassed by the OBERAXE (Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia), which reported 290 cases. The Ministry of Home Affairs, which joins this year for the first time in this exercise, reported 150 cases, the FELGTB (State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals) 85 cases and the Khetané Platform, which also joins this year, 37 cases. The removal rate of the Spanish cases is 68.2%, 6 points higher than the European average (62.5%), and 22 points higher than last year, which is a strong improvement. In the case of the FSG, 72% of the notified cases were removed, 4 points above the Spanish average.

FSG welcomes these monitoring round, as they are a tool for companies to improve their control policies on the hate speech on the internet and to make the reality of Antigypsyism on social networks more visible, raising awareness of this reality among companies and society as a whole and helping to improve the management of hate content, one of the main problems today in the field of discrimination.

This evaluation is published very timely, because we have detected an increase in Anti-Roma hate speech on social media during the COVID 19 crisis. In fact, the FSG has recently published a study on the human, personal and collective impact of such speech in the context of the pandemic.

A summary of the data can be downloaded in:


568 of the reported cases were Anti-Roma hate speech (12.5%)
568 of the reported cases were Anti-Roma hate speech (12.5%)