Parties virtual electoral opportunity to discuss harassment sparked concerns – Political parties shall endeavor to secure the sessions moderators and training

Political harassment and intimidation are considered a serious matter.

Internet the aim is to keep elections held on platforms – such as Facebook and Zoom – safe, at least by appointing a Moderator for each event who can remove a disruptive participant. In addition, some parties provide training for candidates on how to campaign safely.

Last week, the online party of the Center Party was harassed, where, among other things, the chairman of the party spoke. Annika Saarikko. The moderator of the event rushed to remove the people who wrote the violent video and insults. The archipelago was able to continue his speech in about ten minutes.

Read more: Racist attack on city center virtual election: Annoyers interrupt Annika Saarikko’s speech with shooting video and Heil Hitler’s greetings

Downtown Election Coordinator Juha Iso-Ahon according to, the security of online events has been considered in the past, but further reflection may now be needed.

“You may need to think even more carefully about how election events are organized online and when pre-registration is required. You can check the settings, for example, which participants are allowed to share pictures, ”says Iso-Aho.

“On the other hand, we want to hold open events. People also need to be able to ask candidates. ”

According to Iso-Aho, the events related to the municipal elections in the city center are considered to be much different internet meetings due to the corona situation. However, he hopes that voters will also be able to meet in the traditional way in villages and squares.

With the Left Alliance is already a guide to safe campaigning that was updated and expanded earlier this year. According to the experience gained in the party, female candidates, as well as those belonging to ethnic or gender minorities, are particularly vulnerable to harassment.

At online events related to municipal elections, the Left Alliance has Moderators, sometimes also pre-registration.

“Especially at national elections, it is being checked who is there. If necessary, we will be able to block immediately, ”says the party secretary Mikko Koallinen.

“This (harassment and intimidation) is a growing, relatively new trait. There seem to be far-right, undemocratic parties in particular, ”he says.

Social Democrats the municipal election campaign has so far been conducted in peaceful terms, he says Katri Kujanpää, party municipal election campaign worker.

“In online events, the goal is to meet people and create two-way interaction, as in the corner of the market. When the Moderator is tighter, it slows down the dialogue, ”he says.

Demarie municipal election candidates and their support forces are offered training in dealing with harassment and hate speech.

“People need to be safe to campaign,” Kujanpää emphasizes.

Coalition Party there have been some minor disturbances in the municipal elections held online, says the party’s municipal election leader Antti Ahonen. According to Ahonen, a few people have had to be removed from the discussions.

“From time to time, there may be contentiously challenging comments and disrespectful language, or we try to take the discussion completely off topic,” says Ahonen.

Ahonen considers harassment and intimidation in politics to be a serious matter.

“I hope the cases are reported to the authorities,” he says.

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