How do we tackle Hate Speech?
The Internet is overflowing with hate speech. Thus, we need to find ways how to keep counteracting it. For us, the question became: how ca we inspire young Poles to take action against hate speech online?
In 2014 and 2016, the Center on Prejudice Studies of Warsaw University conducted research on hate speech in Poland and found some concerning conclusions. One example is that over the two year period, a significant amount of young Poles encountered hate speech against Jews while on the internet: an increased of 15.5% (from 58.7% in 2014 to 74.2% in 2016). However, Jews are not the primary targeted group in Poland. Regarding Muslims, young Poles encountered 24,5% points more hate speech online, an increase from 55,3% to 79,8% over 2 years. At the same time, there is no effective program in Poland to counteract hate speech online, especially since the government does not perceive these tendencies as harmful.
We need to make Internet a safer place especially for people with minority background and a place where the ideas of civic engagement will be promoted, liked and shared. The action needs to be taken now because the statistics shows it clearly.
Thus Humanity in Action Poland has initiated a new two-year pilot initiative entitled “Impact Hub. Social Up! Actions for Change” with which we will address the key challenges of human rights education and empowerment to action. Our idea is simple: combining the online and the offline in activism against hate speech while at the same time reinforcing the toolbox of activists with social entrepreneurship skills, thus making their campaigns sustainable and independent from public funding.