Hate speech on the rise in Switzerland

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According to the Federal Commission against Racism (CFR), hate speech is also on the increase in Switzerland in a context marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and its conspiracy theories. Sunday, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the CFR calls to fight “A phenomenon dictated by fear and prejudice”.

The current global pandemic has been accompanied by a “surge” of hatred and racist prejudice, deplores the commission. “It is a recurring historical phenomenon,” she wrote in a statement: in times of crisis, “the designation scapegoats, responsible for all evil, is expressed exponentially through “fake news” and conspiracy theories “.

Today, social networks “swarm”, worries the CFR. Consequence: a “weakened” democracy and “undermined” social cohesion.

Read also: Four ways to tame social networks

She considers certain conspiracy theories as “worrying”, in particular those “inspired by anti-Semitism”. And recalls that with the coronavirus crisis “reports on anti-Semitism have this year seen a sharp increase in comments relaying conspiracy theories targeting Jews”.

“Latent anti-Semitism in Switzerland”

“This fact clearly shows that anti-Semitism is as latent in Switzerland as elsewhere and that a crisis is enough to revive it”. The CFR says it is “concerned about these manifestations of hostility and intolerance, which are expressed more and more within the population and in political circles”.

Friday, following shootings that resulted in Monday the death of six Asian women near Atlanta in the United States, US President Joe Biden called for a reaction to anti-Asian violence. His predecessor Donald Trump is accused of having encouraged amalgamations by qualifying SARS-Cov-2 as a “Chinese virus”.