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

Online and offline polarization: FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum 2018

This June, Executive Director Susan Benesch spoke on a panel at FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum in Berlin, Germany, which addressed how online polarization can encourage the spread of hateful and Dangerous Speech online and offline. Here, FriEnt has collected key takeaways from the discussion, and recommendations for collaboration and exchange in efforts to counter harmful content.

Linguistic Self-Defence Guide Against Antisemitism

This guide by Anna Szilagyi covers a number of ways to counter common tropes in antisemitic speech. It is part of a pan-European "Get the Trolls Out!" youth education campaign by the Media Diversity Institute, the International Centre for Journalists, a Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, the Centre for Independent Journalism, the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, and Symbiosis. It is also available in Greek, French, and Hungarian.

Blog + News

“Time Bomb”: Violence and Dangerous Speech Threaten to Upend Nigerian Elections

In Nigeria, conflicts driven by Dangerous Speech and legitimate grievances have raised concerns that 2019 elections may spark mass violence.

WhatsApp Responds after Lynchings Linked to Dangerous Speech in India

WhatsApp's messaging platform has announced several updates, largely in response to a growing problem of Dangerous Speech in India which takes the form of inflammatory rumors spread online and offline.