Freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are rights that people should obtain in digital spaces. However, internet platforms have increasingly become tools to mobilise hatred and incite crime because of the ease with which incendiary religious content can be shared widely. These have been critical concerns in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim majority and where religious minorities have historically been the subject of discrimination and hate speech.
EngageMedia, in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), is taking part in the three-year “Challenging hate narratives and violations of freedom of religion and expression online in Asia” (Challenge) project. The project focuses on five countries in South and Southeast Asia – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Pakistan – which are characterised by the presence of majority religious communities as well as persisting challenges for secularists and religious minorities.
Under this project, EngageMedia will:
- Conduct research on freedom of expression and religion online
- Empower civil society to counter hate speech through online training sessions on strategic communication
- Produce creative and critical content promoting diverse, inclusive, and rights-respective narratives on religion.
These activities aim to catalyse civil society in Indonesia to freely and safely express their opinions, and to generate counter narratives in instances where hate speech is propagated online.