Countering hate speech through counter speech

Children and young people repeatedly encounter hate speech on social networks. Educational professionals can make a decisive contribution to enabling children and young people to deal with this in a reflective way. The ability to actively counter speech is an important component of extremism prevention. At a counter-speech symposium organized by, concepts were discussed and projects presented. A conference volume has now been published, in which all the results have been recorded.

Anyone who encounters hate speech on the Internet often feels powerless and resigned. Yet there are effective strategies to defend oneself, to contradict, to protect oneself or to protect others - counter speech. This counter speech is important because study results indicate that unchallenged hate speech can have a variety of negative effects on readers.

Children and young people who are still developing their personalities are particularly at risk of thinking a toxic tone is normal and, in the worst case, adopting it themselves. In addition, the Internet is a space in which they move around on a daily basis. They have a right to be able to use this space without fear of hate comments and insults.

An overview of the current state of research as well as information on a variety of projects that empower counter speech can be found in the current conference proceedings of Counter Speech 2019 - Strategies against Hate on the Net.


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