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

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.

Online harassment resource guide

This Wikimedia resource compiles interdisciplinary research on understanding and responding to the problem of online harassment, and serves as an excellent starting point for scholars and practitioners alike.

Blog + News

Twitter Bans Religious Dehumanization

Earlier this week, Twitter announced a new rule against language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion. This change is a step in the right direction, but in order to truly mitigate offline harms, the company must define dehumanizing speech by its likely effect on others in addition to the literal content of the speech.

Americans believe speech can lead to violence. How can we counter it?

A report shows that 78% of Americans believe aggressive language can make violence more likely. The Guardian asked Susan Benesch how we can respond to Dangerous Speech.