Sweden’s Anti-Hate Brigade and Strengthening Democracy in the US: New Publications

Tired of the endless stream of bad news and disinformation in your social media feeds? Here’s a chance to stop the doom-scrolling and enjoy some good news and clever ideas from our work in 2020.

The Anti-Hate Brigade: How a Group of Thousands Responds Collectively to Online Vitriol is the first report from Cathy Buerger’s two years of ethnographic research on #jagärhär, a Sweden-based collective whose tens of thousands of volunteers have been working together to counter online hatred since 2016 – and now has affiliates in a dozen other countries. This groundbreaking research is the first in-depth exploration of how and why #jagärhär members do what they do, how working collectively influences members’ ability and willingness to respond to hatred, and how the group’s strategy is carefully designed to take advantage of Facebook’s algorithms and influence ideas and discourse norms among the general public – not necessarily the ones writing the hateful comments.

And just before the 2020 US Election in November, we shared with you a pre-publication draft of Prevent Violence, Strengthen Democracy: Electoral Codes of Conduct for the United States, featuring Cathy Buerger and Tonei Glavinic’s research on ways that various jurisdictions help reduce the risk of political candidates inciting violence and recommendations for how a similar approach could be used in the United States. The final version is now available, updated to reflect post-election developments and feedback from colleagues.

We hope these new publications give you something to enjoy reading over the holidays and spark new ideas, discussions, and research in 2021. As always, if you have feedback, critique, or ideas about our work, please contact us.