Citizen-Centered Approach on Tackling Hate Speech, Hindering State Authoritarianism and Algorithmic Censorship of Tech Platforms

Part 1 - Lead Organizer


Contact Person

Maria H. Karienova

Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate)



Indonesia Digital Rights Coordinator



Economy of Residence


Primary Stakeholder Group

Civil Society


Part 2 - Session Proposal

Your proposal is for

Main Conference (Day 1-3)

Session Title

Citizen-Centered Approach on Tackling Hate Speech, Hindering State Authoritarianism and Algorithmic Censorship of Tech Platforms

Track(s) (can select more than one)


Session Format

Panel Discussion

Where do you plan to organize your session?

Virtual / online

Specific Issues for Discussion

Online hate speech is on the rise in South and Southeast Asia. The social media and instant messaging app booming become a fertile ground for social tension which many politicians choose to inflame rather than to temper. The governments react by passing new laws that stretching their power in the digital space, while the technology companies are getting more meticulous to user’s data. In some countries, the government's mandate these companies to report to them. In the long term, this action shrinks the civic space, freedom of religion and freedom of expression. Good-intention restrictions on online speech spark a debate about the boundary between freedom of expression and hate speech. To solve this problem, we need a citizen-centred approach. In some countries, journalists, activists, CSO, and tech companies work hand in hand battling disinformation and hate speech. We see this effort in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. This session can elaborate their efforts and strategy to face online hate speech and other countries can learn from their experience.

Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF

This session is core to the Trust track. A citizen-centered approach to foster healthier debate and good quality content on the Internet can develop trust on the Internet. The session will elaborate on effort, strategy, and tools that are used by journalists, activists, or CSOs in the Asia Pacific region to battle hate speech, disinformation and misinformation. Hate speech, disinformation, and misinformation are rampant phenomena in Asia Pacific. Formulating strategies to mitigate or to tackle will help create a better Internet for all.

Methodology / Agenda

The session is conducted fully online for 60 minutes. Red Tani of EngageMedia will open the session, delivering the audience to the problem of hate speech and FoE in the Asia Pacific Region (2 minutes). Red introduces the four speakers and why they are invited (3 minutes). First speaker, Gayatri Khandhadai from APC will deliver a presentation about hate speech and the FOE situation in regional Asia. (10 minutes) Second speaker, Harry Sufehmi explores his experiences as an engineer who dedicated himself to fight disinformation and misinformation in his country. He founded Mafindo, collaborating with publishers, tech platforms, and state agencies in several separate platforms. (10 minutes). Third speaker, Dulamkhorloo Baatar will expound her work as an example of citizen-centred approach in tackling hate-speech, mis/disinformation, and hoax. She is the co-founder of Nest Centre for Journalism, an organisation that aims to diversify news flow and giving space for underreported topics in Mongolia. (10 minutes) Another 25 minutes will go for Q and A.

Please provide 3 subject matter tags that best describe your session.

#StopHateSpeech, #DebunkingHoax, #ExpressYourRights


Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)

Name Organization Designation Economy of Residence Stakeholder Group Gender Status of Confirmation
Moderator (Primary) Red Tani EngageMedia Advocacy & Communication Director Philippines Civil Society Male Confirmed
Moderator (Back-up) Kathleen Azali EngageMedia Digital Rights Programme Manager Indonesia Civil Society Female Confirmed
Speaker 1 Gayatri Khandhadai Association of Progressive Communication (APC) Asia policy regional coordinator India Civil Society Female Confirmed
Speaker 2 Surabhi Malik Internews Internews' Program Director of the Google News Initiative Training Network in India India Private Sector Female Proposed
Speaker 3 Dulamkhorloo Baatar Nest Centre for Journalism Co-Founder Mongolia Civil Society Female Confirmed
Speaker 4 Harry Sufehmi Masyarakat Antifitnah dan Hoaks Indonesia (Mafindo) Co-founder, Presidium Member Indonesia Technical Community Male Proposed


Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.

Gayatri Khandhadai is a lawyer with a background in international law and human rights, international and regional human rights mechanisms, research, and advocacy. She previously worked with national and regional human rights groups, focusing on freedom of expression. Her current focus is on digital rights and policy in Asia with specific emphasis on freedoms of expression, religion, assembly and association on the internet. Harry Sufehmi is co-founder and presidium member of Masyarakat Antifitnah dan Hoaks Indonesia (Mafindo) or Indonesia Antihoax Society. Harry is a network engineer intrigued by the wide phenomenon of disinformation and misinformation in Indonesia’s 2014 election. He started a Facebook fan page publishing crowd-sourcing fact checking on hoaxes with some other activists. In 2015, they formalized the activity into Mafindo. As an engineer, Harry later built a crawling machine to collect hoaxes in social media, categorize them, and send them fact checkers who will fact check the contents. This action evolved into a wider collaboration with publishers, Mafindo opens its database to publishers so it can work efficiently in debunking disinformation and misinformation. Dulamkhorloo Baatar is a journalist, lecturer, fact-checker, and an entrepreneur. She co-founded of Nest Centre for Journalism, an organisation that aims to diversify news flow and giving space for underreported topics in Mongolia.