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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, the comic distills counterspeech tips into an accessible graphic...

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

What the End of Net Neutrality Means for the Future of Online Freedom of Speech

On Thursday, the U.S. government may gut “net neutrality”: the rules that prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from interfering with...

The Costs to Democracy of Gender-Based Online Harassment

This video highlights the impact that gender-based online harassment has on women's ability to participate in political and public life, which has implications for their ability to resist or counter Dangerous Speech.