Published 7 March 2024

Hate speech and fake news

In a recent report the Council of Europe concludes that hate speech and fake news aimed at regional and municipal politicians is a serious threat to local democracy. There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen the conditions of elected representatives at the local and regional levels.

The report contains:

  • an analysis of the effects of hate speech and fake news,
  • identified support needs and tools,
  • a resolution
  • recommendations for national governments, municipalities and regions.

Report: Hate speech and fake news, Council of Europe

The impact on working conditions of local and regional elected representatives

The Council of Europe's report contains a number of proposals for what municipalities and regions can do in order to improve the working conditions for local politicians. For example:

  • Provide elected representatives at the local and regional level with training and guidance on how to identify, prevent, and deal with fake news, threats, hate speech and
  • Use risk analysis to identify and assess the risks facing local and regional elected representatives associated with hate speech and fake news.
  • Build risk awareness among elected representatives through information measures and advice.
  • Support and advise local politicians on how to safely use online communication tools, digital platforms, and social media.
  • Develop local guidelines to prevent and respond to disinformation and hate speech.

About the report

In this short movie can you hear Kristoffer Tamsons, Rapporteur on hate speech and fake News for Council of Europe - CLRAE , tell us about the report and why its important that we act at the local, the regional and the national level. Together we can act to ensure a good democracy both today and for the future. The movie is 1 minute and 32 seconds long.


Fake news undermines public debate because it prevents serious consideration of important local and regional issues. Many different actors need to collaborate, both nationally and at the European level to respond to the rise of fake news. This includes a conversation with the providers of the major digital platforms about possible solutions. The report also encourages national authorities to draw up a national strategy for preventing and responding to hate speech and fake news. Everyone should be able to participate in the democratic conversation without suffering various forms of hate speech or harassment.


  • Anna-Lena Pogulis
  • Dag Håkansson

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