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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.


Great new counterspeech resource

A collaboration of #ICANHELP, iCanHelpline.org, the Dangerous Speech Project, HeartMob, and Project HEAR, this comic distills counterspeech tips into an accessible graphic that is great for students.

Exploring the Role of Algorithms in Online Harmful Speech

In June, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University hosted a workshop to discuss how market dynamics, behavioral drivers, laws, and technology contribute to the spread of harmful speech online and inform measures to constrain it. Dangerous Speech Project director Susan Benesch spoke at the workshop, arguing that there should be third-party auditing of platforms' use of algorithms for content removal.

Blog + News

Making An Enemy: Rohingya and the Language of Annihilation in Myanmar

Francis Wade, author of the new book Myanmar’s Enemy Within, describes how language has been used to falsely justify violence...

When Trump Vilifies Legal Immigrants (A Letter to the New York Times)

President Trump's hateful and increasingly dangerous rhetoric has now targeted legal immigrants, describing diversity visa recipients as "the worst of the worst."