Hate speech is defined as speech that discriminates others due to their race, skin-color, sex or sexual orientation. At least that is how Johannes Baldauf, from the Amadeu Antonio Foundation describes it. He was one of many specialists who gathered to talk about the increasing phenomena at the symposium “Hate Speech- Hate on the Internet” organized by AJS-NRW, LVR, two german instituts that deal with media and their impact on children, and the Media Authority of North Rhine- Westphalia (LfM) on the first of July.
But how can one defend and prevent hate speech? And how should one who is confronted with it react to it? – Just a few of the questions discussed at the symposium which we, also joined. We were able to present the project to the highly interested audience by talking about methods of teaching children and youngsters how to handle cyber bulling or other forms of hate speech on the world wide web. Since the audience consisted out of a lot of teachers and social workers they followed our presentation with great interest and also asked for further information afterwards.
We were not only able to promote the project but also to clarify the importance of “building respect on the internet by combating hate speech”. Standing up, showing courage and defending others from hate speech is something we all need to learn because virtual reality can become actuality really fast.