On the Anniversary of the Isla Vista Attack

“As we remember the Isla Vista victims on the 10-year anniversary of their murders,” writes Alex DiBranco, “it is imperative that we give serious attention to the continued risks of misogynist ideology, speech, and violence.”

We study dangerous speech and ways to counteract it.

Dangerous Speech: A Practical Guide

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

Preventing Tech-Fueled Political Violence

Who safeguards democracy against tech-driven political violence? Eisenstat, Hendrix, & Kreiss analyze online platforms' roles in US and global election violence, proposing preventive measures. They question the effectiveness of current models in addressing extremism threats.

Hate Speech and Dangerous Speech in India in 2023

In 2023, India Hate Lab (IHL) documented 668 hate speech events targeting Muslims. Similarly, IHL recorded 255 of the events in the first half of 2023, while the number rose to 413 events in the second half of the year, a 62% increase.

Blog + News

Cathy Buerger quoted in Reuters

In pro-Trump forums, when someone “pushes the norm of what is considered acceptable speech” by posting a call to execute judges or other public officials, “and no one questions it, then the norm of what is acceptable may shift,” said Cathy Buerger, who studies inflammatory rhetoric at the nonpartisan Dangerous Speech Project in Washington. Buerger reviewed the violent posts identified by Reuters.

New report identifies key themes in dangerous speech targeting trans people in the U.S.

As the 2024 United States election approaches, speech that can move people toward accepting violence – dangerous speech – is...