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

Counterspeech: A Literature Review

Every day, internet users encounter hateful and dangerous speech online, and some of them choose to respond directly in order to refute or undermine it. We call this counterspeech. Only a few studies have attempted to measure the effectiveness of counterspeech directly, and as far as we know, this is the first review of relevant literature.

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.

Blog + News

The Guardian: ‘Coughing while Asian’: living in fear as racism feeds off coronavirus panic

“It’s not really hatred that is the most operative emotion regarding dangerous speech, it’s fear. Fear is what makes people turn violently against another group of people more than hatred."

COVID-19 dangerous speech breeds violence and helps the disease spread

Intentionally associating COVID-19 with Asian communities encourages cruel and ignorant stigmatizing, and distracts people from reliable information about the disease.