Session 4 - Your Role
Session 4 seeks to increase participants understanding of hate speech, how and why it is used, the negative effects hate speech can have on individuals and society as a whole, and appropriate responses to hate speech that young people can take when they come across it online. Its objective is to leave participants aware of these issues, more capable of recognising hate speech and negative online behaviour, self-aware of their own internet use, and both more motivated and more able to respond appropriately when they encounter hate speech online.
Hate speech is speech which attacks, intimidates, humiliates, discredits or promotes violence against a person or group based on their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, nationality, age, social status or sexual orientation. Online hate speech is a major problem and something the majority of individuals will encounter at some point.
In order to respond to hate speech in an informed, responsible and effective way, it is crucial that young people are able to correctly identify hate speech when they encounter it. In particular it is important for young people to be able to correctly distinguish between hate speech and free speech.
Hateful online content can divide communities and drive individuals towards discrimination, hatred and violence. Discouraging the creation of such content, reducing its viewership and promoting positive alternatives can play an important role in ending cycles of hate.
Free speech is the ability and right to express and share your opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation or censorship. Free speech is vital because it allows us to share ideas, discuss social, political and cultural issues openly and underpins our freedoms. Freedom of expression is recognised as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is recognised in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
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