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#HackHateConf: How to eradicate hate speech online

Did you know that every day, 95 million pictures are uploaded on Instagram, 350 million comments are posted on Facebook and 60 billion snaps are send on Snapchat? These numbers are huge and are giving a lot of space for hate speech.

Many users already experience the internet and social media in particular as a hostile environment. To avoid the creation and tackle hate speech online European Schoolnet manages a project called SELMA Hacking Hate (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness). It is a two-year project co-funded by the European Commission. Its aim is to tackle hate speech online by promoting tolerance, awareness and respect. The final conference took place in Brussels at the beginning of October and was attended by COFACE Families Europe.

The project partners created a toolkit for professionals working with 11 to 16 year-old teenagers, proposing activities and presentations on hate speech online and on how to tackle this issue. This toolkit is already available, its main character is ‘Xorg’ who is a kid from another galaxy who is bullied because he is green. One of the activities consisted in distinguishing if what others said to him was negative or positive, and then if it was hate speech or not.

But how can we identify hate speech online? There are 3 main steps:

  • Any of the core characteristics are targeted
  • It is shared in public
  • There is an explicit or implicit intention to spread hate

European Schoolnet also invited young people to lead the discussions. Most of them were participants of the SELMA Hackathon. They explained their point of view on hate online as young users of social networks and how they were individually fighting against it.

Let’s continue hacking hate!