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Moderation of Online Hate Speech

March 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Who should attend Moderation of Online Hate Speech?
This Community Engagement Conversation, “Moderation of Online Hate Speech,” is appropriate for: members of the local community; alumni; students, staff, and faculty; friends and family members of students, staff, and faculty.

A Community Engagement Conversation

This Stubblefield Institute Community Engagement Conversation continues the Stubblefield Institute’s series of discussions leveraging culture and the arts to help communities address hate based violence.  Prior to the moderated panel discussion, audience members will have an opportunity to participate in small group conversations.

As greater access to broadband collides with a turbulent election year, West Virginians are increasingly being exposed to online hate speech. In this event, experts will discuss online hate speech and share thoughts on how much is coming from outside groups trying to divide us. They will talk about whether such activity should and could be regulated — and by whom — and offer advice on how to handle online hate speech when it occurs.

View our program online

Downloadable PDF of the evening’s program


Stephen Balkam, founder, Family Online Safety Institute

For the past 30 years, Stephen Balkam has had a wide range of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in the both the US and UK. He is currently the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. FOSI’s mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes the top thinkers and practitioners in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate and to create a “culture of responsibility” in the online world.  

Prior to FOSI, Stephen was the Founder and CEO of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) and lead a team which developed the world’s leading content labeling system on the web. While with ICRA, Stephen served on the US Child Online Protection Commission (COPA) in 2000 and was named one of the Top 50 UK Movers and Shakers, Internet Magazine, 2001. 

In 1994, Stephen was named the first Executive Director of the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) which created a unique self-labeling system for computer games and then, in 1996, Stephen launched RSACi – a forerunner to the ICRA website labeling system. For his efforts in online safety, Stephen was given the 1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize in Gutersloh, Germany, for innovation and responsibility in the Information Society and was invited to the first and subsequent White House Internet Summits during the Clinton Administration. 

Stephen received a BA, magna cum laude, in Psychology from University College, Cardiff, Wales in 1977. A native of Washington, DC, Stephen spent many years in the UK and is now has dual citizenship. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post, appears often on TV and has appeared on nationally syndicated TV and radio programs such as MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC and has been interviewed by leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal , radio and in the mainstream press. He has given presentations and spoken in 15 countries on 4 continents. 

Stephen Balkam and Family Online Safety Institute were also involved with the formation of the Facebook Safety Advisory Board in 2009.

Rita Caufield, legal redress chairperson, Berkeley County NAACP

Rita Caufield is a retired attorney who practiced with the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund in Kentucky, the state she called home for 30 years before moving to Martinsburg with her husband in 2009. In retirement she has volunteered with numerous community organizations, mainly Catholic Charities, CASA, and the Berkeley County NAACP. She is president of the recently established Cheryl Durst Fund for Racial Justice Inc. She and her husband, Dr. Rich Mier, are parents and grandparents. They have twice been foster parents for children from Central America and worked as volunteers for a medical clinic in Ecuador for two years in 2007-2009. 

W. James Denvil, partner, Privacy & Security, Hogan Lovells

James Denvil brings to this conversation his extensive experience with cybersecurity and a global perspective on organizational responses to the challenges of the information age.  Read more, including some of his recent writing on current topics such as artificial intelligence, at

Additional panelist to be announced


Marsha “Kavalek” Chwalik, News director, The Panhandle News Network

Marsha “Kavalek” Chwalik is the News Director of the Panhandle News Network and cohost of the West Virginia Broadcasters Association’s reigning Talk Show of the Year, Panhandle Live, heard weekday mornings on WEPM and WCST, The Panhandle News Network.   A graduate of Concord University in Athens, W.Va., she was a staff reporter at The Journal in Martinsburg and an English teacher at the secondary level.  Prior to her work in radio, she dedicated a number of years to be home with her children as they were growing up.   Marsha considers it a great privilege to be part of the Community Conversations hosted by the Stubblefield Institute.

Discussion of moderation of online content has never been more timely.

U.S. Supreme Court Cases relating to laws enacted in Texas and Florida which would regulate social media platforms regarding moderation of user posts.


Texas Tribune


West Virginia House Bill 4191

West Virginia House Bill 4191, “relating to requirements imposed on social media companies to prevent corruption and provide transparency of election-related content made available on social media websites,” passed in the House on February 23. It was introduced in the Senate on February 24 and was sent to the Government Organization and Judiciary Committees. 

Full text on

Bill history on

The conversation from organizations focused on the state of our online environment

Anti-defamation League

Family Online Safety Institute


Interested in being part of the conversation before the conversation?

Follow the event discussion on Facebook.


Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

The event is free, but seating is limited.

Click here to get your tickets on Eventbrite today.


Plenty of parking for the Student Center in lots A & C

Arrive after 4:00 p.m. to park in these student lots.

Park in student lots A or C on weekends or after 4pm

Remote and Virtual Options

Listen Live

We hope you can attend in person.  But if you can’t attend, you can still listen to the panel discussion.

The  panel discussion will be broadcast live on WEPM 93.7 FM, WCST 93.5 FM, and online at

Post-event video access

After the event, find the recording on YouTube.
A recording will be available after the event, on our YouTube channel.  Subscribe now and never miss a video.

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Thank you for telling your neighbors and colleagues about this event!

Thank you to our partners:

West Virginia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ initiative, United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation

Skinner Accident and Injury Lawyers

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March 20
5:30 pm - 7:15 pm
Event Categories:


Student Center – Storer Ballroom
Storer Ballroom, 210 N King St
Shepherdstown, WV 25443 United States
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