• Breaking down Hate Speech

    The aim of the activity is to create a school community culture in which hate speech is unacceptable. Students learn the definition of hate speech and understand how it affects individuals, groups and communities. Then they explore school wide problems, how hate speech results in classrooms. 

    The internet has changed the types and possibilities of human interaction. It has given us the possibility, in theory, to communicate with almost any other person in the world; it has even made it possible, in theory, for one thought in a back room in a small and unknown corner of the world to be picked up by every other person!

    Everyone with access to the internet is now both publisher and public speaker. Few, it seems, can interfere with what we want to say. This is a novelty that few would want reversed, but it should not surprise us that the ever-expanding world of online interaction has also come to reflect and feed back into many of the difficulties that human beings have historically encountered in their ‘real’ existence.

    Intolerance and ‘hate’ have been a feature of human society almost since time began. A number of studies have identified an increase in these attitudes over recent years. The problem is that if there is less tolerance of differences, and if the constraints on that intolerance are not watched, then intolerance – and hate – will find expression, both in the things that people do and in the things, they say.

    The internet has opened up new ways of saying things, and it has opened up new avenues to say them to more people. The constraints, however, on what we can say online are far fewer than those which exist off-line: we can say things over the Internet that we would not dare to say in public in the ‘real’ world. If hate speech offline is a problem that societies have recognized, and found the need to address, is online hate speech something that we can ignore? Of course not.

    Young people are already suffering from online hate speech:

    • Across Europe, 6% of 9 to 16-year-old Internet users reported having been bullied online, and 3% confessed to having bullied others.

    • 16% of young Internet users in Europe say they have posted comments on the Internet that were hateful towards a person or group of people.

    • 78% of the respondents of an online survey stated they had encountered hate speech online on a regular basis. The three most recurrent targets of hate speech were: LGBT people (70%), Muslims including refugees and migrants of Muslim origin (60%) and women.

    The problem is huge, and it becomes bigger and bigger especially in nowadays when we all face economic breakdown and unemployment as result, huge refugee wave, raise of extremism and terrorism etc. All those challenges contributes to spreading hate speech online, as young people are in the situation of ambiguity and frustration.

    In 2012, Advisory Council on Youth of Council of Europe started the No Hate Speech Movement, the campaign that aimed to combat the hate speech online in all its forms, and with this “No hate” project we want to contribute to making internet a safer place for young people and to prevent human rights violation online.

    The issues that will be addressed by competences developed during the project are:

    • Decrease the level of aggression and intolerance online through civil society organisations.
    • Perception of phenomena of hate speech and its influence on young people's lives.
    • Subjective opinion, memory and bias.
    • Human rights online
    • Peace-building
    • Internet literacy
    • Freedom of speech
    • Promoting intercultural dialogue
    • Preventing radicalization of young people

    The methods aiming at combating with the hate speech online and to promote no  “No Hate speach” methodes for teachers aiming to equip them with knowledge and skills on how to tackle the topic of hate speech with young people through non-formal education.  The aims are developing skills to combat hate speech through human rights education. The tactivities are designed to address the grassroots causes of hate through education as well as acquiring new knowledge, skills and competences. The methodology is based on non-formal education and human rights education. Project activities  in the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will be needed to determine the right approach to combat hate speech with young people and reducing the risk of radicalization.


    Bulliying in the school (hu)