Hogan Lovells BaSE


About the project

The third decade of the millennium is witnessing the rampant misuse of online technology to bully, harass and harm minorities, to radicalize youth and to instigate violence and terrorism. Even as social media has grown to new heights as a way for billions of people to share information, to entertain and to communicate, it also has become in certain instances the launching pad for misinformation and campaigns of racism and hate of all kinds. The Internet has become a significant source of hatred.

PeaceTech Lab (PTL) -- a global non-profit organization created to use the power of technology, data and media to save lives and promote peace around the world -- has asked its pro bono partner law firm, Hogan Lovells, as part of their formal global partnership,  to develop answers to a series of questions regarding the laws and regulations around the world governing online hate. Hogan Lovells has undertaken to analyze the questions in more than 20 jurisdictions.  This website contains the Hogan Lovells analysis. Hogan Lovells volunteers worked alongside lawyers at Citibank, working pro bono, to research hate speech legislation in the Republic of Ireland.

“Understanding the legal tools available to combat hate speech is essential in the fight against the many forms of online and offline hate. The Hogan Lovells/Peace Tech Lab digest of major laws available in an interactive map-based tool will be incredibly useful to ADL and help us understand the parameters of the law in numerous jurisdictions. We welcome the effort and appreciate the work.” – Steven M. Freeman, Vice President, Civil Rights, Anti-Defamation League

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Overview: The Tension Between Freedom of Expression and the Regulation of Hate Speech

The Internet, including especially social media, allows for enormous freedom of expression. In ways not imaginable in the pre-Internet era, people are free to express themselves in writing, with images and photography, and through recorded sound and video. Cheap technology and ubiquitous broadband access allow users to broadcast their output to millions of people around the world. And they are able to network with like-minded people and communities.

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This research was prepared in connection with our pro bono client, PeaceTech Lab (PTL).

PTL requested our assistance in publicising the work product for others to use as appropriate, in order to share legal knowledge on where laws stand at a specific point in time and we aimed at providing this in an informative way without offering opinion.

There is sometimes of course a very fine line between free speech and hate speech, which varies in time, across jurisdictions, and interpretation by Court. As a result,  for specific enquiries please seek additional advice relevant to the jurisdiction of concern.  For further information, please refer to these organisations: 

PeaceTech Lab

ADL: Fighting Antisemitism and Hate

Report in Anti-Muslim Hate or Islamophobia (tellmamauk.org)

The map is for information only. It is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship with PeaceTech Lab or Hogan Lovells International LLP.

This map is a snapshot of the law as at August 2021 and it is not updated.