Drive change, hack online hate – Join the SELMA conference!

The "Drive change, hack online hate" conference is a collaborative event organised by the SELMA project and open to everyone interested in hacking hate speech. It will take place in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, 10 October 2019.

Based on the experiences of the SELMA project, stakeholders will discuss how to tackle the problem of online hate speech through education and how to empower young people to become agents of change.

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of SELMA partner The Diana Award, will give the opening speech. In its capacity of SELMA coordinator, European Schoolnet (EUN) will then animate a first plenary panel session titled "Hacking hate online – How did SELMA work?", with input from two other SELMA partners, South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and For Adolescent Health (FAH), as well as the leader of a SELMA hackathon team and a member of the SELMA Education Task Force. They will discuss how to use a social and emotional learning (SEL) approach to empower young people to become agents of change and help them to better understand the phenomenon of online hate. Moreover, they will present the main outcomes of the SELMA project.
The second plenary panel session "The future of online hate speech – How does SELMA make a difference?" will be animated by young people, who will also have the opportunity to share their stories and explain what led them to get involved in SELMA activities, and how it has impacted their lives. In addition, a representative from the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission (EC) and an industry representative will take part. The conversation will address future opportunities and strategies to share, replicate and translate the SELMA model.

Moreover, participants will have the opportunity to actively engage in a variety of workshops that will range from discussions on how to react to "real world" dilemmas related to online hate, to how to design new awareness activities. The SELMA Exploratorium will allow them to choose their own SELMA journey among five deep-dive sessions, each animated by one SELMA partner:

  • Flexing the SELMA activities – SELMA partner SWGfL will facilitate this session, in which participants will test three activities from the SELMA Toolkit – an interactive set of tools and materials to support young people to understand what hate speech is, how it affects them and those around them, and what we can do together to make a difference. Afterwards, they will discuss how to use and adapt these materials for different groups of young people.
  • The algorithm of hate speech – In this session, moderated by the Danish SELMA partner Centre for Digital Pædagogik (CfDP), participants will be able to create your own visual flow chart of online hate to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon.
  • Giving hate a platform?The Diana Award, another SELMA partner from the UK, will run a peer-mentoring activity from the SELMA Toolkit's theme "What's my role and what can I do" called The Platform Dilemma.
  • Hacking hate in the classroomEuropean Schoolnet (EUN) will teach participants some tips and tricks on how to deal with the topic of online hate in the classroom, with a focus on engaging, inclusive and safe classroom activities.
  • Anti-hate speech campaign photoshoot – In this session, German SELMA partner Landeszentrale für Medien und Kommunikation (LMK) will aim to come up with ideas for an anti-hate speech campaign and to develop campaign messages for a photoshoot together with participants.

Learn more about the "Drive change, hack online hate" conference and register for the conference.

Background – The SELMA project
Online hate speech is an increasing problem. Children and young people often experience social media and gaming platforms to be hostile spaces. They are more likely to experience or engage in online hate, which in turn affects their social and psychological development and their wellbeing.

SELMA (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness) is a two-year project co-funded by the European Commission (EC) aiming to tackle the problem of online hate speech by promoting mutual awareness, tolerance and respect.

SELMA targets young people (age 11-16), primarily in schools, but also in the out-of-school communities that impact on their wellbeing, engaging them – together with their peers, teachers, parents and other professionals and carers – in a multifaceted learning journey, through an evidence-based approach. SELMA also seeks to foster a wider dialogue with education stakeholders (including Ministries of Education), civil society organisations and industry.

The main outcome of the project is the SELMA Toolkit, offering over a hundred free, easy-to-access and customisable resources, to support young people to understand what hate speech is, how it affects them and those around them, and what we can do together to make a difference.

For further information about the SELMA project, visit

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