Sadly, online hatred is now a serious problem to deal with. More and more often we can hear about cyberbullying, haters and crimes such as stalking, revenge porn and hate speech. Yet our judicial system is far too slow and expensive to effectively address such crimes. Hence comes the idea of COP – Chi Odia Paga, the first Italian legaltech platform specifically set up to support victims of online hate speech from both a legal and an IT point of view. The issue is so urgent that COP – Chi Odia Paga is one of the winners of the 2020 edition of Open-F@b Call4Ideas promoted by BNP Paribas Cardif, one of the top ten insurance companies in Italy, in partnership with InsuranceUp.
What COP – Chi Odia Paga does
COP – Chi Odia Paga is an innovative startup with a social vocation founded in Milan in 2018 by Francesco Inguscio, entrepreneur, launched by the venture accelerator Nuvolab with funding from Oltre Venture and the legaltech advisory of LT42.
Initially designed to provide low-cost legal services to victims of online hatred, the project COP – Chi Odia Paga has evolved into a startup with a social vocation, offering victims a full-service against online hatred: in the legal field, making available online access to the actions necessary to legally respond to haters’ attacks, IT, with the removal of harmful online contents, and psychological support to victims in partnership with Centro Medico Santagostino.
How the platform works
The legaltech platform offers online hate victims three-step support.
By accessing the platform, the user fills out a first questionnaire, to verify whether or not the attack is an actual crime: based on the answers, the platform uses artificial intelligence to distinguish the actual victims of online hatred. The questionnaire is made by carefully classifying in a checklist the case law applicable to the field, thanks also to two researchers from Milan and Pisa who collaborated on the project, to ensure the accuracy of the recognition of the crime. Thanks to this first step, the user already gets a free first “legal opinion” on his/her case as well as a hint on what to do for protection.
The second step provides users with all the services of computer (“take down” and legalization) and out-of-court support (automated warning) to try to solve the problem “the easy way”. Through the platform, victims of online hatred can have offensive posts or articles removed (“take down” service), collect any “evidence” of the offenses suffered in order to use them in court (“legalization” service) and obtain an automated creation of the standard “lawyer’s letter” ordering the hater to stop their conduct (“warning” service).
Finally, the third step allows to solve the problem in an even more impactful way, turning through the platform to a specialized lawyer who will support the victim in judicial actions such as the lawsuit of the hater.
Fighting online hate before it happens
In addition to the actual legaltech platform, COP – Chi Odia Paga is also engaged in online hate awareness, education and prevention initiatives. In July 2020 it launched the #DonateProfitToStopHate campaign, encouraging companies to regularly donate part of their profits to the project, and this year it has already funded three projects through crowdfunding, raising more than €150,000: against cyberbullying with Associazione Puntozero, against racism with Associazione Simba Ngai and finally fighting violence against women with Associazione FARE X BENE.
This is because of the awareness that although the hater can be stopped with a complaint, it is only with education that hate can be stopped.
The Open-F@b winning and the upcoming projects
Chi Odia Paga was one of the three winning projects of the 7th edition of the international Open-F@b Call4Ideas contest promoted by BNP Paribas Cardif.
The startup will now be supported by the BNP Paribas Cardif R&D team in the development and implementation of the project, which will also be integrated into the Company’s products and offer patterns.
Creating a genuine “Goodness Network “, to welcome all the players who can and want to support initiatives against online hatred and, above all, to educate users to an aware use of social media, is one of the most long-term goals of the startup.
In the meantime, as COP slogan reads, “law applies to everyone and from now on…you hate, you pay”.All rights reserved