Interview of Rebecca Muscat from Malta after the Training Course "Silence Hate" in Berlin.
Can you give us your opinion about the project “Silence Hate“ ?
I think this topic is actually a huge phenomen and it's very important to talk about that, especially with young people who spend a lot of time on social media. I've been in contact with hate speech for around 10 years because of my jobs and what I did and do. So if I would be honest, for me, I personally have a lot of experience on the topic, so the information that I get, and most of the things I have already known. I expected a bit more information about practical stuff, especially how we can eliminate and fight against hate speech except for reporting the comments on social media and real life.
How can youth help to combat the rise of online hate speech ?
First of all, as I said, young people and youth spend a lot of time on social media, which means if they use this time wisely they can have a big impact on online culture there. I'm sick of the fact how I open the facebook and first things what I see is just hatred. If youth are educated enough, they have bigger chances to recognize hoaxes and real facts, they will know how to properly argue and also they can report the hate comments. Also they can spread positive news on social media which makes more balance.
Do you think that Media is a pathway to racism, intolerance, Islamophobia...? Well, it can be. I'm thinking so often how the world looks if we wouldn't have a social media. Sometimes I have feeling it would be much more better. Less space to spread hoaxes, conspiracy theories, hatred... Despites of every positives what it has, like connection with people from whole world, freedom expression, unlimited informations.. I mean social media are like born for people who feel lonely, loser, are bullied or abused, but online space can just give them the same things and much worse, if they are not be careful. This kind of people are the perfect for recruitment to some terrorist organisations, sects.. And also the feeling of anonymity on social media giving u so much power, u have a feeling u can say anything to anyone. I see a many dangerous on internet. I think social media can be helpful, but we have to use it very very wisely.