Special police unit to monitor online hate speech

Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said that the police were investigating cases of radicalisation that was taking place online

File photo
File photo

A police hate speech and hate crime unit office will be opened and will specialise in monitoring hate speech and hate crime, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia announced.

He made the announcement in Parliament during Wednesday's plenary session, where he said that the government would not be tolerating any form of hate speech.

"Tomorrow we'll be opening the office of the hate speech and hate crime unit, an office that we need. We will not accept anyone who instigates hate," Farrugia said.

He argued that media websites had a responsibility to infiltrate their social media pages to filter out the hate speech comments. Such comments were making the rounds on Facebook following Sunday's Hal Far riots. 

"We don't have control over Twitter or Facebook but media houses have a responsibilty to monitor for hate speech on their pages," Farrugia said. 

The home affairs minister said that the police were investigating cases of radicalisation that was taking place online and was bumping up its IT unit. The Home Affairs Ministry, he said, had started a series of desktop exercises to evaluate criminal activity that could destabilise the country. 

"We are investing in technology. Criminals are using technology to commit modern crimes, so we are adopting and introducing new methods to fight cybercrime and the abuse of computer technology," he said.

READ ALSO: Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca decries hate speech in the wake of migrant riots

More in National