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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Friday, May 18 • 12:00 - 13:15
Lightning Talks: Ending Hate Speech & Online Violence

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Session Emcee: Isaac Stone Fish

Less Hate in Politics! Machine Learning and Interventions as Tools to Mitigate Online Hate Speech in Political Campaigns
(Open Knowledge Finland)

Teemu Ropponen

The session is a project presentation and a call for action on similar iniatives - though we would love to be part of another workshop or demo session, if there were matching to be done. The session presents questions, tools, practical experience up to government level politics.

Discriminating, hateful speech online has become a pressing problem in the societies. What is challenging is that ‘hate speech’ has come to mean a variety of speech acts and other ill-behaviours online, ranging from penal criminal acts to speech which is uncivil and disturbing, but yet to be tolerated. This definitional difficulty is further abused in claims that any limitations of hate speech endanger people’s right to freedom of expression.

Hate speech has been criminalized in many countries. However, the automatic identification of hate speech is limited by lacking tools. While there are few open tools to detect hate speech (e.g. Conversation AI), they are only capable of handling English language. However, these language challenges can be solved with various supervised text mining techniques, as long as the laborious face of developing a gold standard for detection is done properly.

We present a project where the social media activity of candidates was monitored during the Finnish municipal election campaigns in April 2017. The monitoring project was initiated by Open Knowledge Finland, together with the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman (a governmental body to prevent and tackle discrimination), The Finnish League for Human Rights, software company Futurice, and three academic research projects. The pilot project included technical infrastructures to automatically filter potential hate speech from large social media monitoring data - over 7000 public Facebook and Twitter accounts of candidates, available as open data.

Later, populist True Finns party politicians reacted, and felt that his was a Big Brother watching the candidates. This went as far the Finnish Parliament, for the Minister of Justice to answer to the populist True Finns’s question about the project.

Love is a battlefield. Experiences studying life hacks to counter online violence against women and LGBT activists in Latin America (NVA Labs)

Speakers: Lu Ortiz

We will share the findings of the study we conducted to collect life hacks and collective knowledge from feminist collectives and LBGT groups to counter and combat online violences in Latin America. The testimonies reflect strength, innovation, creative forms of risk assessment and poise.

Digital Rights are LGBTQ Rights: or What to do When your Content Turns Against You (GLAAD)

 Jim Halloran

Last year, the media advocacy organization GLAAD uncovered an online effort to weaponize LGBTQ content against itself. These homophobic and transphobic attacks gamified social media algorithms with such scale and repetition that they began to influence the AI behind some the largest online platforms.

Since then, GLAAD’s Digital program has been leading a fight against both bad code, like toxic AI training data, and bad actors, such as a Stanford University professor who dangerously claims to have built AI that can detect sexual orientation.

Learn the challenges and triumphs in protecting the digital lifeline for LGBTQ people who are increasingly being left behind by AI – and need to have a seat at the table in building inclusive AI.

A ToT model for Safe Sisters (Internews)

Natasha Msonza & Haley Slafer

This is a presentation of findings, reflections and feedback collected from an experiment undertaken as part of a Training of Trainers learning methodology. It involved 12 at-risk women human rights activists from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi and used a combination of self-study, tool practice, mentorship, workshops, peer sharing, and small grants. This cohort of technologists joined forces to take on today’s digital challenges for women human rights defenders.

avatar for Isaac Stone Fish

Isaac Stone Fish

Senior Fellow, Asia Society
Chinese influence in America, North Korea, international affairs journalism.
avatar for Jim Halloran

Jim Halloran

Chief Digital Officer, GLAAD
Jim Halloran is the first-ever Chief Digital Officer for GLAAD, the world's leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization. In this role he oversees the organization's entire online footprint including digital advocacy, social media marketing, and technology.Prior to joining GLAAD, Jim... Read More →
avatar for Neema Iyer

Neema Iyer

Founder, Pollicy
Civic Technologist, working on the data revolution in Uganda (and East Africa), Digital Rights, Creative Media, Open Data! Come say hi!
avatar for Lu Ortiz

Lu Ortiz

CEO, NvaLabs
Online gender violence, #Hacksdevida, #Lifehacks, Infoactivism, Human Centered Design
avatar for Teemu Ropponen

Teemu Ropponen

Executive Director, Open Knowledge Finland
MyData - personal data, GDPR and citizen empowerment. Hatespeech.Democracy and civic tech. Transparency & accountability. Measuring impacts of open data. My mission is a fair and open digital society. I am particularly interested in how open data, open knowledge and open collaboration... Read More →

Friday May 18, 2018 12:00 - 13:15 EDT