POSTS BY Natalie Alkiviadou

Ashen Sunset

Seven years ago today, Pavlos Fyssas was murdered by members of Greece’s Neonazi party Golden Dawn. It was only then, after the death of an ethnic Greek, that the authorities finally took action against the party and its members, having ignored violent acts against migrants, ethnic minorities, disabled persons, LGBT persons and others committed by party members for several years. On 7 October 2020, five and a half years and 453 hearings after the trial against 69 members of Golden Dawn began, judgment will be finally passed.

Continue Reading →

In Search for an Antidote

In early January 2020, the Chinese doctor Li Wenliang became the first victim of what would soon become a global censorship pandemic. After warning colleagues about a mysterious SARS-like disease in an online chat room, Dr. Li and seven other doctors were arrested for spreading “false rumors.” Li had to sign an agreement warning of consequences if he continued his “illegal activities.” By 31 December 2019, the government forced social media platforms like YY and WeChat to censor content related to the coronavirus, Dr. Li and the government’s handling of the outbreak. Next, the regime cracked down on journalists, commentators and foreign correspondents covering the crisis. On 7 February 2020, Dr. Li died of the coronavirus. There can be little doubt that COVID-related misinformation can cause harm and panic. But censorship is a bad medicine that may well worsen rather than cure the infection of distrust and conspiracy theories.

Continue Reading →

The Hierarchy of Hate: Mixed Signals in the Combat against Hate Speech

There is a number of varying thresholds to free speech regulation set out by relevant legal tools which can do nothing but confuse countries. Moreover, anti-hate speech legislation developed on an international and European level is marred by what I refer to as the hierarchy of hate, namely the arbitrary focus on particular types of hate speech, such as racist speech, and the simultaneous disregard for other genres such as homophobic speech.

Continue Reading →