Counterspeech on Twitter

The Dangerous Speech Project collaborated with data scientists at McGill University to study hateful speech on Twitter and seek out instances of successful “counterspeech” – responses to hatred that appear to have caused the original speaker to retract their statement, apologize, and/or delete the offensive tweet. This research, supported by Public Safety Canada’s Kanishka Project, resulted in two reports – “Counterspeech on Twitter: A Field Study” and “Considerations for Successful Counterspeech” – and we are exploring opportunities to continue this line of research.

Dangerous speech and the 2016 presidential election

The Dangerous Speech Project has identified instances where Donald Trump and other prominent political leaders have used hallmarks of dangerous speech, and has also called on Mr. Trump to denounce violence being done in his name. The Southern Poverty Law Center released a report in late November 2016 summarizing nearly 900 incidents of harassment and intimidation reported in the aftermath of Trump’s election, in many cases specifically invoking Trump’s name during the attacks. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and are collaborating with various partners to determine the most effective strategy to counter violence and hatred in the United States.

Related Resources

Prevent Violence, Strengthen Democracy: Electoral Codes of Conduct for the United States
What is Dangerous Speech? [Video]
The Costs to Democracy of Gender-Based Online Harassment