Where should you report expressions of hate speech?
Do you have a question or complaint about something you have read in a newspaper, magazine or (journalistic) website? Then you can turn to Unia, or to other organisations such as the relevant editorial board, the Journalism Council or the Data Protection Authority.
Reporting press offences to Unia
Have you read articles or texts published in Belgium that could be considered to contain hate speech on the grounds of one or more of the discrimination criteria for which Unia is competent? Then you can report it to Unia. We investigate all reports that we receive and we will verify whether there has effectively been a press offence.
Even when it involves a press offence that is not an expression of xenophobia or racism, it is important to report it. That way you can help Unia keep abreast of what people are experiencing.
Of course, you can also always contact the editorial board of the publication in question to voice your complaint. Are you personally involved (your name is mentioned, for example)? Then you can demand a right of reply within three months of the publication of the article.
You did not receive a satisfactory response from the editorial board, and you are personally implicated? If you have questions or complaints about the professional journalistic ethics, you can always contact the Council for Journalism.
Data Protection Authority
Do you have questions or complaints about your privacy or the processing of your personal data? Then contact the Data Protection Authority (previously known as the Privacy Commission).
Jury for Ethical Practices in Advertising
What about questionable advertising messages? We notice that people regularly report advertisements to Unia that include extreme stereotypes of individuals or groups. For example, an advertisement in which gay men are presented as effeminate, or older people are shown as being slow, ...
Most of the time, these advertisements turn out to fall within the bounds of freedom of speech. Only when there is public incitement to discrimination, hate or violence against those particular people or groups, can Unia take action.
This does not diminish the fact that you can always contact the customer service of the company to voice your dismay. You can also contact the Jury for Ethical Practices in Advertising of which Unia is a part.