Researchers of the Department of Public Policy Analysis at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP) organized the workshop “Hate speech against women on the internet: diagnoses and solutions for the Brazilian case”, during the 12th Internet Forum in Brazil, held between May 31 and June 3 in the city of Natal (RN). Organized by Cetic.br, the Forum is the largest event on internet governance in the country and consisted of a preparatory activity for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) organized by the United Nations (UN).
The workshop presented an overview of discriminatory practices against women in the digital environment in the Brazilian context and pointed out the possibilities of confrontation. Mediated by Renata Tomaz and reported by Danielle Sanches, who are researchers at FGV DAPP, the discussion began with Luiza Santos, a journalist and doctor in communication and information who is also a member of the department. Representing the academic sector, she spoke about the specifics of hate speech on the internet and addressed important concepts such as freedom of speech, showing examples of how this behavior leads women and girls to silence their voices in online activities. She explained how gamers often assume male names to escape sexist attacks.
The anthropologist Fernanda Martins of InternetLab expanded the discussion on this scenario by presenting a series of studies that prove the existence of gender-based insults, especially against female journalists, candidates for political positions or elected representatives exercising their mandates. Afterwards, Silvana Batini, a regional prosecutor at the Federal
Prosecution Office of Rio de Janeiro, addressed the need for legal mechanisms to address multiple hateful behaviors. She highlighted the urgency of the matter in an election year. The fourth participant was the attorney Flávia Annenberg, Google’s public policy manager in Brazil. She presented the tools for identifying and reporting hate speech offered by YouTube to its users.
The workshop was a ramification of the study “Hate speech in digital environments: definitions, specifics and context of online discrimination in Brazil on Twitter and Facebook”, published in early 2021. The material is part of the set of activities related to the Digitization and Democracy project in Brazil, carried out by FGV DAPP, with funding from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and support from the German Embassy in Brasília.