Published 13 March 2023

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.

Seminar: Hate speech and fake news targeting elected politicians - changing the narrative

SALAR would like to welcome you to an afternoon to address the topic of hate speech and fake news targeting elected politicians and discuss preventive measures. The seminar is arranged by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SALAR.



Last day to make a report: 30 April

Register for the seminar

If you have any questions about registration, please contact:

Date and time

Thursday the 4th of May 2023 at 13.00 – 16.00


SALAR office in Brussels Square de Meeus 1

Briefly about the program

Politicians and elected representatives are increasingly faced with hate speech, harassment and threats in their work. This trend is not only visible in Sweden, but throughout Europe and the world. In order to counter this worrying development, it is important to take preventive action at local, regional and national level. Work is also needed to address the cross-border dimension of hate speech and hate crime, which can spread rapidly and internationally online.

There is a need for joint action against hate speech and fake news. We need to stand up together against hatred and together take strong action to contribute to the development of democratic discourse in a positive direction. To achieve this, we need to share information and knowledge between European countries, as well as examples of ways of working, methods and tools for achieving systematic prevention.

These questions, among others, will be discussed at the seminar by members from the European parliament and the Committee of the Regions, accompanied by comments by experts in the field.

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 film 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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