From Shadows to Sunshine: The Struggle to Expose and Confront Online Hate and Sexism


We are the world that can now be considered as the digital one. The use of social media has become that intertwined in our lives that without it, it is impossible for us to follow our daily routine.During the last couple of years, as social media and the internet have taken enormous roles in our lives, we have discovered that it hardly is possible to avoid them. This prompts us not only to have never-seen-before interactions with people, but also the engagement is taken to another level. Entreaties for inclusion for people who have online presence have gradually become the daily routine. This is largely due to online spread of global and digitalization processes.

As a result, social media campaigns and online tools with a specific focus on particular figures on social platforms are now possible. This phenomenon has both good and bad effects on users through repetitive cases of online discourse on the subject of hatred and discrimination. On one hand, the consequently, my blog’s research for this week extends into a much more important area in which I will investigate the impacts this problem has been noticed. Thus, apart from the solutions an individual might think of to solve this challenge in this digital world, the target is also to significantly improve the quality of the current cases by making the online world a better and despite this fact, there is the query about which policy to strike between the ideas of rendering freedom of expression as well as having punitive legal laws limiting hate speech and online violence on the other side. Periodically, internet overpopulation is addressed as a problem evoking the evolution of fixed and normative standards for validling online forms of communication.More about that, internet pioneers have presented an argument and analyzed the need to allocate a space for the utilization of the right of freedom of expression in the internet age (Flew, 2021).

This can be and should be practiced for curbing cases of e-harm and sexism in online communication while allowing the readers to express their views digitally. Addressing the megatrend of mega-expenditures on online media, dissemination of illegal content and other threats, there is an urgent need to introduce the health and safety control of cyberspace.We shall inspect in a more elaborate manner, the measures which can be implemented and strengthened through the legal framework, social norms and freedom of speech on the Internetostiary but with a particular consideration of the counteroffensive strategies that other entities may adopt.

Impact of digital platforms

Digital platforms, including social media, have emerged as the primary conduits through which information dissemination and interpersonal interaction occur in contemporary society. These platforms facilitate interpersonal connections and offer individuals a forum to express themselves freely, each in their own distinctive way. Nevertheless, this transparency also presents potential hazards as it cultivates an atmosphere conducive to the dissemination of hate speech and the vilification of individuals on the web. Consider Andrew Tate, a social media influencer who has been banned from several significant platforms for sharing content that promotes misogyny and other objectionable perspectives (United Nations, 2023).

A number of the remarks Tate published on his personal channel were considered to be derogatory to women. The statements generated substantial discord and were met with extensive censure, ultimately resulting in his expulsion from numerous platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, among others. This episode underscored the paradoxical nature of social media while it can magnify the influence of an individual, it also enables the dissemination of detrimental and unfavourable information. The dual nature of digital platforms, which have the ability to unite the world but also causing societal disconnection, necessitates a reevaluation of how to ensure freedom of expression while also combatting hate speech and violence in the online realm.

(Shippr, 2019)

The Real Consequences of Online Harmed

In the actual world, the implications of harm that occurs online are significant and devastating. These consequences are not confined to psychological suffering that occurs in the digital domain; rather, they frequently involve the real world, which can lead to hostility and conflict. The example of South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, is a striking demonstration of how hate speech directed at human rights workers like Edmund Yakani may incite actual acts of violence despite the fact that Internet access is restricted. Yakani’s real social networks have been undermined as a result of the online hate speech that has led to him being stigmatised as an animal and a murderer. This has not only further exacerbated the violent conflict in South Sudan, where it is alleged that sixty percent of fatal violence is triggered by hate speech (United Nations, 2023).

Similarly, Yashica Dutt’s experience exemplifies how the internet may perpetuate discrimination against individuals based on the caste system, leading to suffering. As a result of Dutt’s decision to publicly disclose her Dalit identity, she has become the target of online assaults.These attacks have not only consisted of physical abuse and threats, but they have also involved severe disturbances to her personal life. Her tale highlights the role of social media in amplifying pre-existing inequities in countries, namely in India and the global Indian community. In these contexts, caste discrimination has found new avenues of expression in the digital realm (United Nations, 2023).

Using these instances, we can see how hate speech on the internet can not only provoke violence against individuals and organisations, but it can also deepen societal divisions and damage social cohesion. The demand that they make is that we must take the freedom of expression and responsibility on online platforms seriously and come up with effective measures to minimise the spread of hate speech and the effects that it has in the real world.

Personal Stories

The cost of online hate and sexism is deeply reflected in the experience of Martina Mlinarević, a courageous writer and journalist who openly discusses the challenges of going through breast cancer surgery and living with it, with the expectation that these words of experience will inspire attention to the topic of women’s health in the same period (United Nations, 2023). However, this openness instead triggered attacks in cyberspace and real-life threats that seriously affected her personal safety and mental health, forcing her to move away from her hometown with her young children to find a safer haven. Even more shockingly, dolls similar to hers were used as objects to be burned at traditional carnivals in the Czech Republic, an extreme act of public shaming and harassment that reveals how online harm can trigger real-life acts of evil, causing irreparable damage to the victim.

Mlinarević’s story not only reveals the vulnerability of individuals in the face of online harm, but also reflects a broader societal problem of complex attitudes towards women’s expression of their personal views and experiences in the public sphere, and the double standards that women face as a result. Such attitudes are amplified in online space, where the anonymous and depersonalized nature of the internet allows hate speech and sexist attacks to flourish.

After these experiences, we must decide how to safeguard free speech while reducing online harm speech and sexism. Every Internet user, social media platforms, and legislators must do this. Collaboration is necessary in order to enhance the safety, inclusivity, and civility of the internet, with a particular focus on promoting the well-being of women who engage in public speaking.

Martina Mlinarević shares her life experience.

Global challenges

Online harm and discrimination is a phenomenon that bothers everyone anywhere in this world, regardless of the different cultural traditions people are adhering to. Similar incidents from Nigeria to Denmark that clearly portray the world among peoples as literally one and the same and the intricacies of this very existence. Germany has declared a link among anti-Semitic Facebook messages sent then by the far-right political parties and some assaults on the refugees (Laub, 2019). White supremacists in the U.S. have used the internet as a platform to disseminate their prejudices against minority groups such as Black, and have carried out a couple of attacks aimed at such peoples (Laub, 2019). SMM was used in Myanmar to fuel aggressive moods in the minds of people against Rohingya minority which provoked to the humanitarian crisis (Laub, 2019). Such cases, however, only highlight that online hate speech and gender discrimination are not isolated human rights issues; these are indeed global dilemmas which cannot be exclusively handled by few powerful states, but have to receive the global community’s attention and reaction. Such challenges are resolved and tackled worldwide with different countries and regions using different legal, cultural, as well as social approaches. On the one hand, they press forward for the revision of the procedures for detecting, preventing, and neutralizing illicit discriminatory and hate acts online.

Global issues like online hate speech and sexism require balanced legal and legislative solutions. The UK’s White Paper on Online Harm shows that broad business and online harm targets can overburden authorities with unclear standards or selective oversight and enforcement. Such an approach may damage regulators’ legitimacy and the rule of law. The white paper also considers regulating what is not illegal, which is correct but risks over-inclusiveness because media attention and political opportunism may define online harms. A two-tiered approach to regulation with exclusions for particular corporations may be needed when legislation (Theil, 2019).

We can do something about it

Amidst the challenge of combating online hate speech and victimisation, there exist certain measures that each individual can adopt to actively contribute in a constructive manner. Prioritising the advancement of digital literacy competencies and critical thinking abilities is of the utmost importance. In addition to its primary function of detecting false information and offensive language on the internet, this system is designed to educate users on the safe navigation and comprehension of digital environments. By engaging in virtual literacy seminars and distributing reliable educational resources, we can augment the knowledge and competence of the general public. 

Furthermore, providing required assistance and resources to such organizations dedicated to fight cyberbullying and discrimination is the primary task at hand.This can be done through financial support or by helping to spread their efforts in the mass media with the help of volunteering.Regardless of this, the organizations perform an essential function in building a digital society which is not only safe but also not biased.

To sum up, every individual needs to be proactive in creating an accepting and mutually beneficial online talk without degrading.The online community should engage in constructive and empathetic communication on social media platforms, for example, and should also focus on preventing hate speech and online victimisation by reporting offending material and helping the concerned persons dealing with them.Through the utilization of good and moral means of communication, we can foster collective objective in reducing the level of negativity in digital sphere.

Besides members of the Internet trying to create a constructive and respectful dialogue, we need more active approach from the lawmakers and platforms providers that run this relatedness.The fact that we all posses the ability to do this is because of our capacity to account for the size of the problems, directly impede on hate messages, and promote the acts of kindness and respect through the way we interact in social media.


Business & Professional Women CR. (2023). To be SEEN and HEARD: Martina Mlinarević at Equal Pay Day 2023.

Edge, D. (2020). The World Association for Christian Communication has published a new report on countering hate speech online. [Online Image]. In lutheranworld.

Flew, T. (2021). Regulating Platforms. Polity Press.

Laub, Z. (2019). Hate Speech on Social Media: Global Comparisons. Council on Foreign Relations; Council on Foreign Relations.

Shippr. (2019). Digital + platform = 1 #18. Medium.

Theil, S. (2019). The Online Harms White Paper: comparing the UK and German approaches to regulation. Journal of Media Law, 11(1), 41–51.

United Nations. (2023, January 28). Hate speech: A growing, international threat | UN News.

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