Promoting tolerance and cultural diversity in the digital era

Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development. To emphasise this, on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, the world celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development originates from the UNESCO's adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001, followed in December 2002 by the adoption of resolution 57/249 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

As the United Nations put it, "acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity – in particular through innovative use of media and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) – are conducive to dialogue among civilisations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding". If this is undeniable, one should bear in mind that the digital world – in particular social media – offer a space where hateful and intolerant speeches and behaviours can thrive, especially among younger users.

In light of this, it is vital to ensure that children and young people are prepared to make reasonable and ethical uses of digital technologies, conducive to cultural dialogues that are based on respect and mutual awareness. The European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) strive for this by developing educational and awareness resources in that respect.

#Shareaheart – Play your part for a better internet video on online hate speech by the UK SIC

These educational materials – and many more – are available in the BIK repository of resources.

Find out more information about the work of the Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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Safer Internet Day 2019 in Germany: United against online hate speech

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Hacking online hate speech with SELMA

Hate speech is increasingly common on social media; but that does not make it any less problematic. A recent study released by the SELMA (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness) project shows how online hate speech has become an inevitable part of young people's daily experiences online, with education and awareness-raising efforts on the topic lagging behind. To complement existing initiatives to regulate, monitor or report online hate speech, a more pro-active answer is needed.