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Ontario Tech University and Facebook Canada create global network to address online hate

Collaboration will support Ontario Tech’s ongoing leadership on research to prevent hate, bias and extremism

Dr. Barbara Perry, Director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, will oversee operations of the new Global Network Against Hate supported by Facebook Canada.
Dr. Barbara Perry, Director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, will oversee operations of the new Global Network Against Hate supported by Facebook Canada.

OSHAWA, ONTARIO – In a world where billions of messages are distributed daily on the Internet and across social media platforms, governments, experts, academics and online platforms need to work together to address the growing issue of online hate and bigotry.

Working to be part of the solution, Ontario Tech University’s Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism (CHBE) and Facebook Canada are creating the Global Network Against Hate to develop strategies, policies and tools to combat hate and extremism, including how it spreads and how to stop it.

Facebook will contribute $500,000 to the Global Network program over the next five years to help advance the Centre’s work researching violent extremism.

Established in 2018 and led by one of Canada’s top hate studies scholars Dr. Barbara Perry of the Ontario Tech’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, the Centre is emerging as an internationally recognized leader in studying the propagation and mitigation of ethnic, racial, gender and other forms of prejudice.

As a Canadian-developed solution, the Ontario Tech-based Global Network Against Hate broadens Facebook’s long relationship with Dr. Perry to identify hate organizations and their online presence. Previous consultations have helped Facebook develop policy and tackle the growing challenge posed by online extremism, including the banning of several Canadian hate organizations from the platform.

Global Network Against Hate objectives and outcomes

  • Operating out of Ontario Tech University’s CHBE, the Global Network Against Hate will facilitate partnerships and knowledge dissemination in the areas of hate and violent extremism.
  • The network will serve as the ‘go-to’ knowledge hub, providing high-level expertise to national, international and global partners through evidence-based education, training and programming.
  • The Network will stage a biannual conference to build cohesive solutions on the issue of hate involving policymakers, law enforcement, industry, academics and anti-hate groups.
  • Facebook’s $500,000 contribution will also fund the creation of a new position at the Centre to facilitate global partnerships and knowledge sharing focused on researching, understanding and preventing hate, bias and extremism online and off.

Virtual panel discussion

The July 28 announcement was followed by an expert panel discussion on ‘Incel: The Rising Threat of Misogyny and Violence’.

In May 2020, a Toronto teenager became the first Canadian ever charged with terrorism after carrying out an ‘involuntary celibate’ (incel)-inspired attack. Previous attacks allegedly inspired by the incel ideology have not been deemed terrorism. Incel is an online subculture focused on members' perceived inability to find romantic or sexual partners. At the extreme end of the movement are angry males who freely express misogyny across online networks. As numerous incidents have revealed, this hatred of women has the potential result of real-world violence. Research into online behaviour as an indicator of physical violence, and how to stop it is at the core of the Centre’s work.

Expert panel participants:

  • Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor Ontario Tech University
  • Dr. Barbara Perry, Director, Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism, Ontario Tech University
  • Dr. Irini Levit, Ontario Tech University, Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism
  • Dr. Erin Saltman, Policy Manager, Counter-Terrorism and Dangerous Organizations, Facebook
  • Brett Kubicek, Senior Director, Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence
  • Maya Roy, CEO, YWCA Canada


“Ontario Tech University improves the lives of humans and the planet through the ethical application of technology. Our partnership with Facebook Canada Inc. is a terrific example of social innovation that will support the infrastructure requirements of the university’s Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism. We look forward to the Centre continuing to advance new knowledge and awareness of issues surrounding online hate and strategies to address the issue.”
-Dr. Steven Murphy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ontario Tech University

“Partnering to launch the Global Network Against Hate is the next step in our ongoing work with Dr. Barbara Perry and the team at Ontario Tech University’s Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism. We hope to help the Centre reach its objectives of preventing hate, bias and extremism in the Canadian and international contexts and advance our work at Facebook to create safe, positive and inclusive environment for the millions people who connect across our platforms every day.”
-Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy, Facebook Canada

"Through the support of Facebook, the new Global Network will enhance the work of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism as a magnet for high-quality academics to contribute to the intellectual climate, locally and internationally. This sends a powerful message about our values while enabling Ontario Tech University to build its research capacity, share new knowledge and become the go-to source for policy developers seeking data, guidance and advice on this vital issue."
-Dr. Barbara Perry, Director, Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism; and Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ontario Tech University

Media contact

Melissa Levy
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
289.928.0268 (mobile)