Should we be able to say what we want online?

Politics, cyber-bullying and hate speech. The balance between free speech and online abuse is getting harder to define and police. What can and should be done to tackle it?In this Data Debate we will discuss trolling: the practice of online harassment and the posting of inflammatory content on the internet. It has destroyed lives, been held responsible for putting women off politics, fuelling racism and flooding trusted media streams with fake news.

With only one in five cases of cyber bullying being reported, what can digital platforms do to fight against it? Do efforts to police it risk undermining the internet as a place of free speech? Fundamentally, should we be able to say what we want online?

Join the debate with our panel of experts as we discuss trolling and the effect it is having in our data-driven lives. Panellists include:

  • Nimco Ali?– Co-founder and director of Daughters of Eve, Nimco Ali is a Somali feminist, social activist and independent training consultant.
  • Brittany Kelley?? Teaching Fellow in Digital Cultures at King?s College London. Brittany?s work includes looking at fan studies and effective and ethical online research methodologies.
  • Azmina Dhrodia?? Amnesty International Researcher on Technology and Human Rights
  • Rob Procter???Professor of Social Informatics at Warwick University and Turing Fellow leading research on social media governance, including fake news and trolling.
  • Roisin Wood???CEO of the Kick it Out campaign, working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

Chaired by writer and broadcaster?Timandra Harkness. Timandra presents BBC Radio 4 series,?FutureProofing,?and has presented the documentaries,?Data, Data Everywhere, Personality Politics?& The Singularity.

Watch the full video below:

And read about some results of Media4Sec project researching the Policing of Trolling here:

Drawing on the discussions during Workshop 5, this report provides an overview of the emerging issues for a range of stakeholders in addressing challenges presented by trolling and online hate. It includes a list of recommendations for further consideration and discussion.


This report summarises ethical and legal issues raised in connection with the challenges presented by trolling and online hate. It outlines some further considerations for our ongoing discussions.

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