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UNESCO fights harmful content with a community-led initiative

Meta Indonesia, which was present on both days, welcomed efforts by civil society to help create a more peaceful and safer cyberspace. Noudhy Valdryno, Public Policy Manager, shared the current mechanisms for combatting hate speech and disinformation on Facebook – by blocking the use, taking down the content or limiting its distribution. He emphasized the challenge of effectively curbing harmful content, as the platform is being used everyday by billions of users with diverse social and culture backgrounds. Dara Nasution, the Politics and Government Outreach Associate Manager at Meta, spoke of independent third-party fact checkers, certified through the non-party International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), with which Meta cooperates to review and respond to hate speech and disinformation.

Dr Novi Kurnia, the Principal Investigator Researcher at CfDS,  explained that the research result on regulation of harmful  and illegal content in Indonesia shows there is no differentiation  between illegal content and harmful content in regulation. Definitions are too broad, ambiguous, and vulnerable to misuse. This condition has an impact on the practice of content moderation among vulnerable groups such as LGBTI community, religious minority groups and pro-democracy activists. In response to this, CfDS with the support of UNESCO, launched the Anti-Harmful Content Platform during the conference. “This resource is a step towards empowering citizens to share their experiences of harmful content on a variety of six social media platforms and one complaint platform on harmful content developed  by MOCI , and it will ultimately contribute to future research and monitoring,” she said.

At the conference, Ms Valerie Julliand, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, affirmed the UN’s commitment to combatting hate speech, as recently demonstrated by the celebration of the first-ever International Day dedicated to it. “A key UN initiative towards countering hate speech and contributing to the SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions is UNESCO’s Social Media 4 Peace project,” she said.