Digital Civil Courage

Civil courage on the internet is just as important as in the analog world!

Here you will learn:

– what this is all about,
– why society and the internet need resistance against hate,
– how each and everyone of us can take action!

Please find the facilitator‘s guide for this 25-min workshop here.

Other versions of the workshop are 90 min and 45 min in length.

Defending democratic values

Supporting a friend who is bullied on the internet because of her headscarf.
Exposing a picture on Facebook as fake.
Programming an app for reporting hate posts.

All of those are examples for civil courage on the internet. What do all of them have in common?

They go beyond pure helping behavior! Basic democratic values are defended courageously. Digitally just as in the analog world.

The Internet has some peculiarities:
Coverage and speed, anonymity, legislation, information overload.

Online hate and fakes are on the rise!

Hate speech and fake news are a problem for society as a whole.
According to a survey by HateAid, 50% of young adults in Europe are affected by hate on the Internet.
Over two-thirds of Europeans encounter fake news at least once a week (Source: Statista, Inc.).

Populism and the emphasis of the differences between groups fuel the discussions.

Intense hate speech is used as a strategy to silence dissidents.

There are many reasons not to act …

Why should I deliberately step in the line of fire? I do not want to present myself as a target…

Possible consequences for people who fight back on the net:

Shitstorm: Drawing people‘s anger on oneself and becoming a target.
Blaming: Being defined as the offender and attacked
Silencing: Experiencing massive hate aiming to drive people of differing opinion out of social media
Doxing: Ones addresses and other contact details are published and one becomes a target in the analog world

Maybe it is better to stay out of this?

… all the more to take action!

Failure to oppose implies agreement!
It is important that hatred does not become the new normal.

Can haters be convinced? Most cannot.
But there are many undecided followers. For them as well as for the victims of hate it pays to become active. A lack of solidarity is as severe as the hate itself.

Overcoming the stunned state of shock and taking action: That is a great feeling! Those who get involved feel a sense of belonging and less helplessness.

But a word of caution: Hate has never conquered hate or solved social issues…

Everybody can take action!

  • Get involved in a constructive way!
  • Support victims – demonstrate solidarity!
  • Seek and accept help!
  • Strengthen supporters!
  • Do not allow yourself to be provoked.
  • Do not answer hate with hate!
  • Set limits and recover!
  • Be prepared – practice counter-speech!
  • Use fact checking – publish sources!
  • Often: write for the silent readers – not for the hater!
  • Report violations!

Digital Civil Courage: take part!

Our workshop has come to an end!

We have learned a lot about online hate and what we can do against it.

And we do not have time to waste: hate destroys many advantages that social media offers.

Resistence against hate is a way to shape our society in accordance with democratic rules.

Take part!