Digital democracy International

Words Matter Online Debate - First Regional Report

The first regional report from our project Words Matter aims to analyse disinformation and hate speech to shed light on their impact during key democratic processes. By analyzing these online phenomena in the Middle East and North Africa, we develop national and regional recommendations for transparent regulations to combat disinformation and hate speech. 

We recently published the first regional report Online Public Discourse In The Mena Region: 2022 Lebanese And Jordanian Elections As A Case Study,  which presents the findings from our analyisis of the March municipal elections in Jordan and the May Lebanese national elections. 

Join us online with our partners on 6 October from 12.00 to 14.00 CEST. The language of the event will be Arabic, with real-time interpretation in English.

Register here


  • Hervé de Baillenx, MENA representative at DRI 
  • Emna Mouelhi, project coordinator at DRI
  • Amira Kridagh, Project Coordinator at DRI
  • Shrouq Naimat, policy advisor at Al Hayat Rased, Jordan 
  • Tony Mikhael, director of the monitoring unit at Maharat foundation, Lebanon 
  • Dr. Mohamed Khalil Jelassi, institute of press and communication, Tunisia  
  • Rogaia Eljilani, project officer at Sudanese Development initiative, Sudan 
  • Wafaa Heikal, social media analyst at DRI
  • Lena-Maria Böswald, Digital Democracy Programme Officer at DRI
  • Marina Al Sahawneh, Technologist - Gender and Inclusion at JOSA 
  • Moderator: Amira Kridagh, Project Coordinator at DRI 

With different levels of their progress in each country, the report presents the work accomplished by DRI’s partners as follows:  

First, it presents a case study of hate speech on Facebook during the municipal elections in Jordan, focusing on the election campaign silence period starting on 21 March 2022, and on election day, 22 March 2022. Our partner Al Hayat Centre carried out an analysis of posts and comments identified on Facebook local media platforms to provide evidence of the types and intensity of hate speech. Al Hayat will present their findings, learnings and how they are working to see their recommendations implemented 
Second, it presents results from a report of monitoring during Lebanon’s 15 May 2022 parliamentary elections, focusing on the political landscape before election day. This monitoring, conducted by the Maharat Foundation, features the topics most discussed either by political candidates or influencers. Maharat will present their findings, learnings and how they are working to see their recommendations implemented 
Third, the “LAB’TRACK” project presents its context, focus and methodology. This project joins the efforts of Mourakiboun and the Institute of Press and Information Sciences, who aim to study and understand the behaviour behind the online political disinformation phenomenon in Tunisia in the aftermath of the 25 July 2022 referendum.  
Lastly, the Sudanese Development Initiative (SUDIA) studies the hate speech and disinformation phenomena in Sudan in the aftermath of the military coup of 25 October 2021. In this intervention, SUDIA examines the Sudanese political and social contexts, and outlines their methodology to address these phenomena. 

You can learn more about the report that DRI will present in the webinar here

See the agenda of the meeting in the PDF file below.

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Words Matter Online Debate - First Regional Report Download