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How to stop the online violence is a hot topic in all Nordic countries. The epidemic of threats and sexist remarks in website comment fields is a serious democracy problem, as it may silence voices in the public space. Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK) was therefore conducting a review of the legal regulation of online hate speech at the request of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The aim of the project was to contribute to knowledge-based work against gender-related online hate speech, threats and other violations by analysing the applicable legislations in the Nordic countries and present the findings in a report. The report also contributed to conceptual clarity by delimiting and defining the concepts that in a Nordic context are central in the area.

Besides a comparative review and analysis of the present legal regulation of online violence in the different countries, the report included:

  1. Central Nordic research on gender-related online hate speech, threats and other violations.
  2. Suggested changes that could facilitate more effective work against gender-related online violence.

NIKK recruited Moa Bladini, senior lecturer in criminal law at the University of Gothenburg, to participate in the project. A reference group consisting of lawyers from the Nordic countries was formed, and national experts from Iceland and Finland contributed additional material. The report was completed in spring 2017 and presented at the conference on hate speech that the Norwegian Presidency arranged 21–22 June in Stavanger, Norway.

Project time span

Commissioned by
Nordic Council of Ministers