Hate Speech | Countering Hate Speech
Countering Hate Speech in South Sudan
Technology and especially Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are playing increasingly important roles in the human rights field generally and specifically in efforts to identify and monitor signs of mass human rights violations and in efforts to counter the narrative of hate. There have been popular online campaigns against hate speech, though the degree to which they reach and influence the audiences most receptive to messages of hate is unclear.1 In some places at risk of collective violence, ICTs have been used to disseminate information that debunks rumors, a form of communication frequently used to disseminate dangerous and inciting speech. Again, the effect of such efforts on the audience most likely to give credence to the rumors is unclear. Similarly, in particularly tense situations, messages have been disseminated via ICTs that target a specific audience with the goal of persuading its members to abstain at least temporarily from actions that could lead to violence. There is anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of this approach. In South Sudan specifically, there have been campaigns aiming to sensitize target audiences on the dangers of using hate terms on Social media and some campaigns have actually countered narratives that instigate hatred in South Sudan.
Countering Hate Speech Initiatives
The prevalence of hate speech (particularly on social media) related to the conflict in South Sudan reinforces the need for local initiatives that can effectively counter the hate speech, or provide alternative narratives in support of building peace.
Click on the tabs below to learn more about current initiatives to counter hate speech in South Sudan.
Description of initiative
AnaTaban, which literally translates to “I am Tired” in Arabic, is a new campaign, championed by young South Sudanese activists and artists, who are decrying their country’s degeneration into a civil war since it gained independence five years ago. The campaign, which was launched in the capital Juba in early September, promotes peace and denounces the violence that has displaced millions of people both inside and out of the country. The artists say the campaign is a platform for young South Sudanese to have a discussion and contribute ideas and solutions to what is happening in their country. The campaign uses various art forms such as street theater, graffiti, sculpture and poetry to speak about social injustice, government accountability, and transparency.By using the power of music and art, the artists say they hope to penetrate the country’s consciousness and speak directly to its leaders and people. Where negotiations and actions have failed, the hope is that the melodies of music and the significance of art will initiate a dialogue about how to change the status quo.
See: #Anataban on Twitter
Description of the initiative
#DefyHateNow is an urgent community peacebuilding, training and conflict reconciliation project aimed to strengthen the voices and support the actions of emergent, primarily youth oriented civil society organizations in South Sudan. Initiatedby the Berlin-based r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, in collaboration with the Juba-based Ebony Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) and the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO South Sudan), #DefyHateNow aims to raise awareness of and develop means to counter social media based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and directed online incitement to violence.The project responds to South Sudan’s ongoing civil crisis by addressing the roles played by a wide range of social media users including diaspora South Sudanese in either exacerbating or helping mitigate issues, particularly since the eruption of crisis on December 15, 2013.
See: #DefyHateNow on Twitter
The topic wheel below displays the top themes of conversation from public social media content related to countering hate speech initiatives. Use it to explore key topics (inner circle) and sub-topics (outer circle) in social media. In the field above, you can select a different date range to update the visualizations. Dataset: Crimson Hexagon. Content Sources: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, News, Comments, Forums, YouTube.
The chart below shows which social media platforms this term is most commonly used. Note: There are significant differences between each content source. Facebook, for instance, is primarily private, while Twitter is primarily public. Nonetheless, the differences between the content sources for hate speech and counter hate speech demonstrate relevant trends. Dataset: Crimson Hexagon. Content Sources: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, News, Comments, Forums, YouTube.
The word cloud below displays words that are most commonly used in social media posts related to countering hate speech initiatives. Use it to explore related words, themes, hashtags, and accounts in social media. In the field above, you can select a different date range to update the visualizations. Dataset: Crimson Hexagon. Content Sources: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, News, Comments, Forums, YouTube.
The chart below shows which sites are most used for countering hate speech, based on our monitoring. Dataset: Crimson Hexagon. Content Sources: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, News, Comments, Forums, YouTube.
The line chart below displays the overall volume for social media content supporting countering hate speech initiatives surrounding the South Sudan conflict. You can use this to monitor rises in conversations around countering hate speech in social media. Dataset: Crimson Hexagon. Content Sources: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, News, Comments, Forums, YouTube.
The map below shows the total volume of posts coming from each country in the world, filtered for content that is likely to be related to countering hate speech, according to our analysis. Note: The map draws from geolocated content, and Twitter and Forums are the only two content sources that enable geolocation.
The visualizations below show networks from two Twitter hashtags that have been used by initiatives to counter the spread of hate speech online: #DefyHateNow and #AnaTaban. The visualization was generated using the Twitter Search function of NodeXL.
#DefyHateNow Twitter Search Social Network
#AnaTaban Twitter Search Social Network
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