OP-ED: Why Elon Musk’s Twitter might be (more) lethal

We seek the best ways to blunt the power of dangerous speech, online and offline. Musk taking over Twitter doesn’t look like one of them, to say the least.

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

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.

Blog + News

Dangerous Speech rises as millions of refugees cross Polish-Ukrainian border

Dangerous speech targeting Ukrainian refugees in Poland is threatening human rights in an already difficult social and political situation.

Op-Ed: Bring Social Media Enforcement Into the Light

Published in Barron’s on May 5, 2022   Elon Musk’s sudden deal to buy Twitter has his fans elated, and his detractors...