February 1 Webinar – Bard Center for the Study of Hate

Susan Benesch and Cathy Buerger will speak on our recently released publications, reviewing and evaluating the literature on two important questions: Is speech a driver of intergroup violence? And is counterspeech an effective response to hatred?

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.


Case study: A dangerous speech that triggered lynchings in India (2013-2018)

India has been steadily transforming from an aspiring liberal democracy into an ethnic democracy where a narrow and supremacist interpretations of Hinduism, the religion of the majority, wields near hegemonic status.

COVID-19 Disinformation and Dangerous Speech in Aotearoa New Zealand

This working paper analyzes shifts in online discourse around COVID-19 (including vaccinations) in New Zealand online spaces following the resumption of strict lockdowns in August 2021, with a focus on how mis- and disinformation intersects with dangerous speech, far-right ideologies, and targeting of marginalized groups.

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February 2 – Countering COVID-19 Misinformation: The Impact on Health Care Providers

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked debates about public health, especially online. Health care providers have in many cases been at the center of these debates, and some report being targeted for publicly encouraging vaccines, masks, and distancing. In this virtual panel discussion, health care providers and policy makers will discuss these experiences and the impact of social media on their work during the pandemic, as well as strategies for responding to misinformation.

Nobody Can See Into Facebook

As long as Facebook employees are the only ones who can monitor Facebook, we will not understand how toxic content thrives on social-media platforms and how best to diminish the human suffering to which it contributes.