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

When Shootings Become Dangerous Speech

Individuals who carry out attacks such as the one in El Paso are not only audience members who have heard Dangerous Speech and have been convinced to commit violence. They are also speakers themselves. Their words (through manifestos and social media posts) and their actions (the shootings) are performances designed, at least in part, to move others to commit similar atrocities in the future.

Dangerous Speech and White Supremacist Violence

As with several other massacres in the past year, the attacker in the El Paso shooting appears to have online ties with white supremacist ideology and published a racist screed prior to his attack. We’ve written on the ideas espoused by this killer many times in the past.