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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.


#Silence Hate: Study on Hate Speech Online in Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy

This report on Internet hate speech, hate speech law, and efforts to diminish it synthesizes research and case studies from four countries. It was published by the European project BRICkS Against Hate Speech.

Mechachal – Examining the Dissemination of Hateful and Dangerous Speech on Social Media in Ethiopia

The final report released by the Mechachal project, one of first academic studies to contextually examine how hate speech and Dangerous Speech disseminate in social media by examining thousands of comments made by Ethiopians on Facebook during the country’s general election.

Blog + News

Germany to Social Networks: Delete Hate Speech Faster or Face Fines

This article from the Wall Street Journal quotes Susan Benesch, who criticizes a new German law that places strict content regulations on social media companies as an infringement on freedom of expression.

New Evidence on Elections and Norm Change

Social norms can be powerful bulwarks against Dangerous Speech, but new evidence indicates social norms can change suddenly during elections.