Lost on the middle of the middle

The osce met on racism on the internet. For two days, the boundaries of freedom and censorship was argued

Actually, the fronts had to be clear from the outset. When the organization for safety and cooperation in europe (osce) last week to a two-day conference on racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism on the internet, it quickly became differences between the representatives of the 55 oecd member states and the us representative dan bryant. It is one "rash" in the fight against racism and intolerance to censor the internet, bryant explained the us position. The french aufemister michel barnier had opened the meeting in paris on wednesday with the thesis, racist intolerance is mainly based on the uncontrolled propaganda on the internet. At the debate about these two extremes, the two-day conference also seemed to be.

So it was due to the question of how the internet may be controlled and censored without restricting the freedom of expression and information. Both france’s aufemister barnier as well as his bulgarian office colleague salomon passy pladated for a stronger control.

It is not about a restriction of freedom of expression and underlying regulation.

Bulgaria’s foreign minister salomon passy

Freedom of expression, passy defended the censorship commutations, just not come to the unlimited right to spread hatred. There must be a middle ground. His french office colleague had previously caught the result of an international study, which, according to the number of websites with violence and extremist content between 2000 and 2004, have tripled.

After the second debate day in paris, it became clear that the conference will end with good appeals and without concrete results. So the final document did not go beyond the good declarations of the good will:

During the meeting, the participants have sentenced racist, foreign-timely and anti-semitic propaganda and acknowledged that such propaganda is easy to spread on the internet. (…) participants agreed to use the internet as a means of disseminating tolerance, mutual respect and understanding by clarifying the users over all forms of intolerance.

As already at the osce conference on anti-semitism (two days of affinity), which took place in berlin, the representatives of the member states missed the opportunity for self-criticism. The various varieties of racist resentment will increase as long as the industrialized countries are bordered in advance and these measures are ideologically flanked by the folk parties. To claim that in this situation by a censorship of the internet, racially motivated violence, it blocks an effective approach to the impact of violent content on the internet. In fact, in paris, once again, it seemed that these experiencing problems of the information society should be used for the pretext for a spared state control – this time just on the internet -.

Meaningful proposals of government-independent organizations remained largely unnoticed. So the representative of the canadian media awareness network recommended state programs for the requirement of media competence. Canada, as the first country, have connected all libraries and schools to the internet, reported cathy wing from the education organization. In 2001, 80 percent of canadian households had already had access to the internet. "Show our experiences", so wing, "that half of the adolescents use the internet for up to three hours." in talks with young people, these had rejected a censorship and even refer to the importance of a responsible handling of the medium. The media awareness network has then set up different interactive educational sides.

The challenges in the age of global information technologies force us to educate a generation of informed, dedicated and responsible online burgers.

Cathy wing from the canadian media awareness network

However, the apprenticeship of the osce conference was not read from appropriate education.