The five mechanisms of hate speech

The French Safer Internet Centre (SIC) recently created a resource on how to identify hate speech based on racial criteria online. The resource was created in response to a call for proposals from the French Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah and it aims to raise awareness of hate speech, specifically online.

Date 2023-02-16 Author French Safer Internet Centre Section awareness Topic hate speech, media literacy/education Audience organisations and industry, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals
A photo of a speech bubble

French young people are confronted at a very early age with online hate speech, particularly racist speech – mostly on social networks and in online gaming. It has become a priority for the French Safer Internet Centre to teach young people how to recognise online hate speeches to give them a fundamental basis of critical knowledge to fight them.

Therefore, the new Info Hunter resource is based on existing materials and posts. Real content that has been published by random people online is used, in order to stick as close as possible to the reality of cases that one can encounter as a user of social networks and platforms. The impact of true posts or comments may also enhance the impact of the awareness messages taught in the course. During the first six months of preparation before launching the production of the resource, the contents referred to in the course were all still available before having been removed and banned by the online safety moderation departments of the related social platforms.

The aim of the resource is to know the main mechanisms of online hate speech, know the legal consequences of hate speech, understand that online hate can have offline consequences, be able to identify a source and question its reliability, know how to search for information and to know how to do a reverse image search. 

Based on the preparatory work done as well as on the work of the experts’ committee, it was decided to focus essentially on racial hate speech, excluding other hate manifestations. However, working on sexism, transphobia and other specific issues could be integrated into the roadmap in the close future. Each course could then address a particular form of online hate. 

Why is that resource innovative?  

The InfoHunter turnkey workshopDécrypter les discours de haine en ligne” helps the teachers to address topics that can be difficult to lead in a class group. Talking about racism and stigmatization with young people can be a challenge. In order to address the topic in the most careful and sensitive way, we have settled a board gathering experts and teachers.  

The resource was made with help of an experts committee. The members of this committee were: Étienne Allais (author of the book SOS, Préjugés ! et co-founder of Entre-autre), Alice Chisin (Referee of the platform Seriously and expert representative at CEMEA), Judith Cohen-Solal (psychoanalyst and founder of the Programme CoExist), Florian Cool (teacher), Judith Cytrynowicz ( Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah), Jonathan Hayoun (film director of Sauver Auschwitz ?), Thomas Huchon (journalist at LCI and Spicee), Laetitia Le Bris (teacher), Estelle Liprandi (teacher), Aurore Maciejczak (teacher), Noémie Madar (président at UEJF), Olivier Magnin (director of Image’IN, Ligue de l’enseignement of the French Oise district), Rudy Reichstadt (expert of conspiracism and founder of ConspiracyWatch), and Lisa Vapné (PhD in political sciences and coordinator of the Alarmer magazine). 

Find out more about the work of the French Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe

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