Combating online hate speech is one of the most important projects, initiatives, and campaigns that is being implemented for many years now by different activists and civil society organizations worldwide. This article will try to map major projects aimed at combating online hate speech.
Before starting, let us start by having a simple definition of what is “online hate speech”? basically, it is any text, image, and/or video published and posted online and contains negative content against an individual or group of people with the aim of harming, mocking, belittling and insulting them, in a more simple statement (to dehumanize anyone), this also includes posts on different social media platforms and any negative comments written by the readers. Moreover, there are many themes for online hate speech that varies between hate in the format of xenophobia, hate directed at refugees, gender, religions…etc it will always depend on which context we are talking about, in the end, themes do not matter much… because hate is hate!
The importance of combating online hate speech is to stop all forms (or even better, to prevent) of violence from taking place and to enable understanding and dialogue to take place. Because, when “hate” starts online, it will have physical manifestation elsewhere in real life; hate is transformed into violence. Therefore, it is crucial to stop all form of violence (hidden or obvious) and to be aware of the need to stop the escalation of any violence, in addition, for raising necessary awareness about the phenomena of online hate speech and its consequences.
When talking about combating online hate speech then the question of “freedom of speech” arises; do we have a limit on our “freedom of expression” or not? Do we have the option of being “responsible” freedom of expression?… these are the questions…
Who is active on this issue?
1. “Online Love Speech” concept; campaign and project started in February 2015 in Jordan and run by I-Dare for Sustainable Development.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/OLSJo1/
Hashtags: #idare_to_love_speech and #خطاب_المحبة_عالانترنت
2. “No hate” movement; campaign started in 2013 and run by Council of Europe. The No Hate movement is now being implemented in many European countries and in Morocco.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nohatespeech
3. “BRICKS: against hate speech” Building Respect on the Internet by combating hate Speech, a project started in 2015 run by 6 NGOs from Europe and it aims to combat hate speech against immigrants and refugees.
Hashtags: #silencehate and #BRICKSEU
4. Online Civil Courage Initiative, against online extremism and hate speech, started in January 2016 and run by Facebook.
5. No2H8, a three-day hackathon from February 22-24, 2016
to design effective online tools to fight hate.
If you know about other projects and initiatives aimed to combat online hate speech please write to us. By Suha Ayyash