Interview of Ursula Kuningas from Estonia after the Training Course "Silence Hate" in Berlin.
Can you give us your opinion about the project “Silence Hate“ ?
The project “Silence Hate “ took place in Berlin with a lively group of participants from different regions of the EU and south Eastern European countries. The topic aim was to equip us with skill sets to identify and how to react to any form of online abuse of freedom of speech. This kind of speech may have been targeted to any minority groups, the outliers in society , ethnic groups, people with different religious , cultural , physical to objective opinions that may have . Since humans are unique and different. It leads to a clash of conflicting ideas , opinions as well as options, that may conflict with the opinions , ideas , speech (written or verbal ). The project was good as it shed light / informed the participants on the rights they have and the consequences that would follow if they break any of the existing rights . It focused also on different world terrorist groups that found a passion of abusing human rights and encouraging while inflicting pain and destruction as a result of hate speech..
How can youth help to combat the rise of online hate speech ?
They need to be aware of their limits when it comes to what can be classified as hate speech or freedom of speech. They can report any case of hate speech online to the respective authorities in charge of the social media platforms or the necessary authorities in the countries. Creating a culture where partakes of hate online are quickly identified. Discouraging the use of hate speech by informing their peers or online friends on the dangers of hate speech. Creating events and inviting or that target members of the Society that have been victims of hate speech to strengthen and support them. By pushing the lawmakers to upload and set laws that protect the citizens against any form of hate speech. By not being part of any hate speech forums or groups that may lead to brainwashing and manipulation of beliefs and ideas. Intercultural events that bring most of not of all the different groups of people together to enjoy and forget their differences.
Do you think that Media is a pathway to racism, intolerance, Islamophobia...? Honestly the media has been both a tool to weaponize hate speech and also has been used to curb or prevent similar cases of such said hate speech. There are many secret private groups that propagate their propaganda to as many people as they can give access to and most of them go undetected until someone reports said groups.
The coordination of hate speech groups has been down using the media of different forms.
The positive side of the media is it has been used to stop hiring or screening people before job interviews who may have allegiance to a section that helps promote hate. The media has been used also to unite groups and individuals who are ready to defend against hate speech. It shows us how many people still believe in misconceptions and stereotypes that have no essence to bring hate. Yes it can be used to fight such individuals as they have an online identity now as most of them cannot say these things face to face but behind technology.