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.

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

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.

Speech as a Driver of Intergroup Violence: A Literature Review

People have been trying to understand the catalysts of human behavior, especially violent behavior, for thousands of years. In this review, we focus on how speech, especially public, often online speech, can inspire civilians of one group to attack civilians of another or create an atmosphere in which such violence is encouraged.

Blog + News

Appalling dangerous speech from Ethiopian Prime Minister’s aide

A close advisor to the prime minister of Ethiopia – the world’s 12th most populous country – used an extreme, textbook example of dangerous speech, calling for the Tigray people to be wiped from the face of the earth and from history.

New Opportunities to Work with Us

We are looking for a web designer, and a writer to work on a forthcoming book about counterspeech.