We study dangerous speech and ways to counteract it.

People don’t commit violence against other groups - or even condone it - spontaneously. First they must be taught to see other people as pests, vermin, aliens, or threats. Malicious leaders often use the same types of rhetoric to do this, in myriad cultures, languages, countries, and historical periods. We call this Dangerous Speech. Violence might be prevented by making it less abundant or less convincing. We work to find the best ways to do this – while protecting freedom of expression.

Resources

DANGEROUS SPEECH: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

This guide - updated for 2019 - provides an in-depth exploration of dangerous speech and how to identify it, dangerous speech on the internet, and some promising efforts to reduce the harmful effects of speech.

Online harassment resource guide

This Wikimedia resource compiles interdisciplinary research on understanding and responding to the problem of online harassment, and serves as an excellent starting point for scholars and practitioners alike.

Blog + News

First International Counterspeakers’ Workshop

The DSP is proud to have hosted the First International Counterspeakers’ Workshop, a meeting of people who respond to hateful or harmful speech online - to trade ideas, war stories, and best practices. The event, held in late November in Berlin, drew 15 people from around the world who ‘counterspeak’ online in a wide variety of ways.

Uyghur internment and China’s demonizing of Islam

China's clampdown on Xinjiang's Uyghur Muslims is shrouded in secrecy - but government documents, testimonies from detained Uyghurs, and officials' Dangerous Speech reveal a disturbing picture of human rights abuses.