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

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.

Ideas for research to decrease online abuse

Our Data-Driven Decency panel at RightsCon 2018 explored experiments to diminish online hate and harassment. Here are our notes on these efforts, and considerations for future interventions.

Blog + News

Why the Rhetoric of Infestation is Dangerous

By referring to immigrants who “pour into and infest our Country,” President Trump has invoked a malevolent vocabulary - one which has striking similarities to rhetoric which has preceded episodes of intergroup violence.

The Tolls Of Trolling: How Online Harassment Became Rampant—And How To Push Back

DSP Executive Director Susan Benesch says 'trolls' are not one species but many, and describes some of them for David Morrison at Urbo.