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

Crowd Size Isn’t Everything: How Far-Right Ideas Have Infiltrated Mainstream U.S. Politics

The Alt-Right's recent stumbles may look bad for their activists - but their ideas are making headway in the US' most prominent platforms.

Donald Trump, Dangerous Speech, and the Legacy of White Supremacist Terrorism

President Donald Trump has routinely used dehumanizing rhetoric, like "dog" and "animal," to describe people - especially people of color. These words must not be brushed off; they bear the weight of centuries of racist horror.