Nomad 1: Eliminating hate speech online

Imagine a world where online hate speech is non-existent. Where we can peacefully talk through the differences in opinions; where cyberbullying is eradicated and where social media is not used as a tool for violence.
Even the most innocuous comments can generate a tirade of negative feedback, resulting in bullying, trolling or real life violence. Throw in red and blue feeds, extremism, racism, sexism, religious hostility, homophobia, transphobia; and a host of other ‘questionable’ views and the word censorship rears its head. 

Think of the challenges around Trump, Twitter, ‘free speech’ apps and the insurrection at The Capitol. Extremists are scary when they gather, add in thousands of angry everyday people and you have confusion, violence and potentially the death of democracy. 

Content moderation is ineffective - punters just move to other sites; censorship is questionable; governments & legal systems are caught between a rock and a hard place and digital technology is creating more problems than solving them. 

Is there a way out? 

Event at a glance

  • Date: Wednesday 3rd March
  • Time: 5.30pm to 7pm (Registration and drinks from 5.30pm. Session starts at 6pm)

  • Where: Stair Stadium, The Precinct, Level 2, 315 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley

Our panel of experts

Cat Matson
Manager, Economic &  Community Development
Ipswich City Council

About Cat >> Cat is one of QLD’s most popular MCs, known for her straight-talking style. She is the founder of Impactful Presenters, an online program that teaches change-makers and professionals how to present with confidence. As Brisbane’s former Chief Digital Officer, Cat has a strong reputation in Australia’s innovation ecosystem. 

Why we love Cat >> Cat has led the way in open innovation programs for civic improvement with the design and development of Brisbane Innovate, believed to be one of the largest open innovation programs in the world.
Opening Statement (Virtual)
Jillian C. York
Director for International Freedom of Expression
Electronic Frontier Foundation (Berlin) 
About Jillian >> Jillian is a writer and activist whose work examines the impact of technology on our societal and cultural values. Based in Berlin, she is the Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a fellow at the Center for Internet & Human Rights at the European University Viadrina, and a visiting professor at the College of Europe Natolin.

Why we love Jillian >> Jillian co-founded, an award-winning project that seeks to encourage companies to operate with greater transparency and accountability toward their users as they make decisions that regulate speech.

Photo credit: VampKitty/Nadine Barišić
David Douglas,
Postdoctoral Fellow

About David >> David's research explores the ethical issues raised by robotic technology and artificial intelligence. His work applies theories of moral philosophy and distributive justice to examine how new technologies challenge our existing moral and political commitments.

Why we love David >> David helps us to make sense of some of technologies toughest questions... Who is really responsible?
Jessie Hughes
New Media Artist and Technologist
About Jessie >>  Jessie Hughes is an internationally-recognised Australian new media artist and technologist, her works having exhibited most notably at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Tate Modern, and Cannes Film Market.

Why we love Jessie >> 
Jessie has been named one of Australia’s Future Changers for her commitment to using digital innovation for positive social impact.
Katharine Gelber
Head of School, Professor of Politics & Public Policy
The University of Queensland 

About Katharine >> Katharine Gelber is an award winning researcher and writer, known for her expertise in freedom of speech and speech regulation. 

Why we love Katharine >> She has undertaken projects assessing the impact of hate speech laws on public discourse in Australia and has jointly edited the publications Free Speech in the Digital Age (2019) and Free Speech After 9/11 (2016).
Scott McDougall
Queensland Human Rights
About Scott >> Scott is Queensland’s Human Rights Commissioner. Prior to his appointment he was the Director and Principal Solicitor at Caxton Legal Centre in Brisbane here he conducted the marathon sexuality vilification case Menzies and Ors v Owen.

Why we love Scott >> As Human Rights Commissioner he has been working closely with the Cohesive Communities Coalition to pursue reform of Queensland’s laws to more effectively combat hate crimes and hate speech.

Some Covid-Safe Notes

  • All Something Digital Night Nomads events will be run to an industry approved Covid-Safe plan.
  • This will include mandatory contact tracing and abiding by any other government restrictions in place at the time of the event.
  • We ask that you stay at home if you are unwell, have a cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath, or have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
  • In the lead up to the event, all registered attendees will receive communication about restrictions they may need to comply with (masks, vertical consumption etc).
  • It goes without saying that you should always do what feels right for you. Feel better wearing a mask, do that. Want to maintain a bit of extra distance whilst chatting, that's okay too. We are all in this together and encourage you to embrace the awkward.