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Summer School on Misinformation, Disinformation and Hate Speech

Decode, Discern, and Defend: Unmasking Misinformation, Disinformation, and Hate Speech! Join Our Summer School!



NEW Edition of the Summer School on Misinformation, Disinformation and Hate Speech

1-5 July 2024, Hybrid Format: Rome (Italy) and online


Deadline for application: 20 June 2024 


In recent decades, rapid technological advancements have drastically altered how individuals connect, communicate, and access information. News and knowledge may now travel across the globe in a matter of seconds. While these digital and communicational innovations have sprung several new opportunities to organize, educate, and enlighten the international community, still these significant changes have also had unfavourable effects that we are only now beginning to address, such as the significantly increased rate at which false information, misleading information, and even hate speech propagate.

The international community as a whole is now faced with difficult geopolitical problems raised by disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech. People's vulnerability and risk exposure may be exacerbated by misinformation and disinformation. Likewise, hate speech puts the safety and dignity of individuals and groups at risk, either directly or indirectly. As an example, online hate speech that incites violence against a minority can cause psychological and social harm through intimidation, slander, and harassment.

The UN General Assembly has expressed concern over the proliferation of these phenomena and has welcomed the efforts of the Secretary-General to promote international cooperation in countering disinformation through his report: Countering disinformation for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Moreover, in July 2021, the same UN entity highlighted global concerns over “the exponential spread and proliferation of hate speech” around the world and adopted a resolution on “promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech”, proclaiming 18 June as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech. These new issues are altering how societies deal with democracy as well as how and when violence manifests itself.

With these considerations in mind, UNICRI and the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) are launching the second edition of the Summer School on Misinformation, Disinformation and Hate Speech, which will be delivered from 1 to 5 July 2024.

The course is intended for university and post-graduate students, Ph.D. candidates, media and other professionals, including United Nations (UN) personnel, as well as anyone interested in gaining an understanding of disinformation, misinformation, and hate speech, how they manifest themselves and what tools are available to combat them. 

Special focus will be given to various dimensions of hate speech and fake news, including the contemporary challenges linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and the role of social media in war and political propaganda campaigns. The existing international legal and policy frameworks will be examined with a view to improving participants’ ability to address the issue in a comprehensive way and promote their role as advocates for an effective change in public policies, strategies, and practices. More specifically, the curriculum of the course may focus on:

  • The difference between disinformation and misinformation & the different types of disinformation and misinformation.
  • The difference between hate speech and freedom of expression.
  • An overview of the international legal framework and human rights standards used to counter hate speech and disinformation.
  • The role of fake news in fuelling hate speech and the link between fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech.
  • Hate speech and misinformation in pandemics: anti-scientific propaganda during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The role of social media hate and disinformation in war and political propaganda campaigns.
  • The role of AI in disinformation.
  • Tools to monitor and respond to misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech – including the role of media.
  • Proposing a counternarrative to hate speech – Debunking as a method of uncovering hate speech, disinformation, misinformation, and fake news.

The Summer School offers professional, legal, social, scientific, and academic perspectives through live webinars, group discussions, dynamic case studies, individual readings, and practical exercises. The faculty is composed of expert scholars and academics from leading universities, representatives of the United Nations system, international human rights bodies, and the civil society.

Whether attending the course in person at the SIOI’s beautiful premises in the centre of Rome (Italy), or through a dedicated online platform, participants will have the opportunity to interact with international recognized experts and peers from all over the world, to exchange view and opinions and build lasting professional relationships. This experience fosters intercultural dialogue and promotes a deeper understanding of some of the world’s most complex and debated issues.

For more information please click here