Online hate speech, but more trust in the media
Finland’s media are threatened by the social media platforms. The platforms take the mainstream media’s advertising and undermine their other funding methods. They host false information sites and user groups that amplify disinformation. And, without taking appropriate, responsible measures, they tolerate users who pursue and target journalists with hate speech. Many of their users share false information and conspiracy theories, and attack the traditional media with the aim of discrediting them in the eyes of the general public. In 2020, the government proposed legislation intended to protect media and journalists from the consequences of online hate speech. It remains to be seen what real impact it could have. The courts find it hard to coherently interpret the existing legislation restricting online hate speech, especially in cases involving police or journalists. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on the media landscape inasmuch as the public’s trust in Finland’s leading media outlets has increased, along with its trust in verified information and science. But, because of the pandemic’s impact on their finances, some media outlets have had to lay off staff members, while freelancers are having difficulty finding work.
2 in 2020
7.93 in 2020