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 90-min workshop here.

Other versions of the workshop are 45 min and 25 min in lenght.

WHAT WOULD A HATE-FREE INTERNET LOOK LIKE?

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WHAT WOULD A RESISTANCE-FREE INTERNET LOOK LIKE?

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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.

But there are certain differences:
Coverage and speed, anonymity, legislation, information overload.

ONLINE HATE AND FAKES ARE ON THE RISE!

Hate speech and fake news are a macrosocial issue.
When asked about the types of illegal content people in Europe encounter on the internet, hate speech ranks highly. The majority of Europeans say that they face fake news at least once a week.

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

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

IS HATE SPEECH LEGAL?

There is a fine line separating harsh criticism from illegal hate speech and that line varies a lot between countries.

The video gives an overview of the main arguments regarding freedom of speech.

THE INTERNET IS NO LEGAL VACUUM

In some countries it is an offence to insult someone on the street. But what about on social media?

Fundamentally, acts that are illegal in the analog world are treated the same way when carried out online.

On an international level, there are a number of conventions that are relevant when it comes to online hate, such as the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the European Convention on Human Rights. There are also corresponding national laws. So it makes sense to gather evidence and report offences.

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!

  • 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!

THERE ARE MANY GREAT EXAMPLES!

Facing facts: European program tackling hate crime and hate speech. It offers online courses for private citizens, activists, decision makers and many more.

GoSpeakUp!: International app for schools to prevent (cyber)bullying. Students can anonymously report incidents via web or phone app.

Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD): global ‘think and do’ tank to understand and create innovative responses to polarization, hate and extremism. Besides research and grassroot networks they also developed an educational program.

Common Sense Education: Supports parents and teachers with everything they need to empower the next generation of digital citizens.

Reporters‘ Lab: Center for journalism research. On the website they offer an overview of fact-checking initiatives worldwide.

#IAmHere: Founded in Sweden by journalist Mina Dennert. Today, there are 14 different Facebook groups practicing counter-speech in their respective languages.

International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH): Combats discrimination on the Internet e.g. by supporting groups and institutions who want to set up a complaints bureau.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO DIFFERENTLY, STARTING TOMORROW?

Many initiatives take small steps but still have great impact! Each and everyone of us can make a difference.

Let us learn more about the measures that help and how to take action against hateful and unqualified comments…

STATISTICS PING-PONG AND ALTERNATIVE FACTS

“THIS JUST NEEDS TO BE SAID!” – TABOO BREAKER

1001 DIFFERENT TOPIC

“THERE IS NO HOPE!” – SCARE TACTICS

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!