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.

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

Coverage of mass killings is bad for mental health — yet makes people seek more

In this PBS NewsHour exploration of the mental health impacts of violent content, and DSP Executive Director Susan Benesch discusses why criminal liability for internet companies hosting such content is counterproductive.

What Have We Learned From the Rwandan Genocide?

April 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. One of its lasting lessons for the world is that words matter, and we must monitor and resist Dangerous Speech.