Online hate speech is a growing problem. People often experience the internet to be a hostile space. Hateful messages are increasingly common on social media. To complement existing initiatives to regulate, monitor or report online hate speech, a more pro-active answer is clearly needed.
SELMA (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness) is a two-year project co-funded by the European Commission which aims to tackle the problem of online hate speech by promoting mutual awareness, tolerance, and respect.
The overall vision of the SELMA project is captured by its catchphrase: Hacking Hate. It builds upon a Social and Emotional Learning approach to empower young people to become agents of change; it helps them to better understand the phenomenon of online hate; it provides them with tools and strategies to act and make a difference.
Our role in SELMA is to produce the SELMA toolkit - a collection of activities, resources and lesson plans aimed to support teachers and those working with young people aged 11-16 to understand online hate speech, the impact it has on a person, a peer group and society as a whole and help build strategies to disrupt hate speech online.
We are working with our project partners in Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Germany and UK to make this toolkit useful and simple to use.
If you are interested in the toolkit or the project overall, get in touch.
"Hacking is any amateur innovation on an existing system, and it is a deeply democratic activity. It's about critical thinking. It's about questioning existing ways of doing things. It's the idea that if you see a problem, you work to fix it, and not just complain about it."
Catherine Bracy, TechEquity Collaborative
Top tips to set up a whole-school strategy to hack online hate
Tackling online hate speech with young people ideally goes beyond the classroom, as part of a collaborative effort involving many different education stakeholders.
2nd October 2019
Register for the SELMA Hacking hate MOOC!
Registration for the SELMA Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Hacking hate – How to empower young people to understand and disrupt online hate” is now open. Starting on 16 September 2019, it will target teachers, school leaders, social and youth workers, parents and anyone interested in the topic.
28th June 2019
Hack online hate with the SELMA Toolkit
The SELMA Toolkit is an interactive set of tools and materials to support young people to understand what hate speech is, how it affects them and those around them, and what we can do together to make a difference.
22nd May 2019
SELMA: Promoting tolerance and empathy online
SWGfL and partners and working to tackle online hate speech with SELMA. This month we are focusing on tolerance and empathy as a foundation on which to base respectful online discussion or effective counter narrative.
3rd May 2019