What is hate speech

Hate speech

What is hate speech?

This is about hate online: what is it and how can you deal with it?

There are currently many terms for mood and speech culture on the Internet. Hate speech (in German hate speech), cyberbullying, trolling, ... Behind this are different things. Insults and threats are a part of cyberbullying, just like hate speech. Cyberbullying and hate speech are not the same, even if both can be very bad for those affected. Cyberbullying can happen to everyone. Here you will find an overview of how this can be expressed.

We understand hate speech, on the other hand, as discrimination against people based on their (actual or alleged) membership of a group. People are discriminated against because of their gender, skin color, religion or sexual orientation, for example. Since the term hate speech is used very differently, we prefer to speak of discrimination on the Internet.

How do I recognize discrimination on the internet?

Discrimination on the internet is not always easy to spot. It is not necessarily emotional, which means factual arguments or jokes can also be discriminatory. But there are patterns that repeat themselves and that make it easier to recognize discrimination.

On the one hand, people who are discriminated against on the internet include normal social media users. Racist, sexist, homo-, trans * and inter * hostile positions are very common in our society and can also be seen on the internet. On the other hand, there are right-wing extremist groups and trolls who work together to incite others to participate. You can find a good overview of this in the documentary "Delete yourself - this is how the hate on the Internet is organized" - you can find it here.

Strategies against Discrimination on the Net

Here are some examples of how you can deal with discrimination and bullying online:

Support those affected:

  • Liket posts from those affected
  • Show solidarity with those affected
  • Write to those affected and ask if you can support them

Make other positions visible:

  • Make your opinion clear, e.g. with short texts and videos
  • Shares other people's content that might otherwise not be as visible

Pull yourself out of the discussion:

  • Take care of yourselves! It's always okay to pull yourself out
  • Sometimes it helps to consciously take breaks from the Internet
  • Talk to friends about it and agree on who will react, when and how
  • If you yourself become the target of discriminatory comments: leave the reading and reaction to friends and supporters

Enter the discussion:

  • Addresses questions and concerns without confirming prejudice
  • Encourages a change of perspective: "What if you were there ..."
  • Rejects discrimination and explains why
  • Think about which point is important to you and concentrate on it (no theme hopping!)
  • Questions the sources of statements and allegations

Humor and irony:

  • You can also make your opinion clear in a funny way, e.g. with memes: You can download great memes and simply use them, or create them yourself

Block and report:

  • You can change your privacy settings on Facebook so that people can no longer tag you and no longer see the content you have posted.
  • Instructions for reporting discriminatory content on Facebook and Instagram can be found here.

To file charges:

  • Collect evidence in the form of screenshots
  • You can find more information about the laws that are important if you want to report insults or threats online here.

Reactions to trolls and organized groups:

  • Do not be provoked
  • Unmask the strategy behind targeted attempts at disruption
  • Include potential allies