Raising awareness of and develop means to mitigate social media based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and online incitement to violence
#defyhatenow was initiated in early 2014 by r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation gGmbH (Berlin), and supported from 2015 through 2018, with means of the German Federal Foreign Office via the ifa/zivik programme for civic conflict resolution as a comprehensive programme “Mobilising Civic Action Against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan” and after 2016 including its neighbouring countries Kenya, Uganda and Sudan. Alongside (social) media literacy trainings and community level facilitation of hate speech and conflict mitigation activities, the project produced a comprehensive ‘Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation Field Guide’.
In 2019 a #defyhatenow Community Based Organisation has been legally registered in South Sudan, while further crisis intervention initiatives have been introduced in Cameroon and Ethiopia.
The #defyhatenow initiative works on providing community-based and data-driven solutions to the problem of hate speech, disinformation and misinformation. Our work focuses on creating a framework for increasing trust between stakeholders through mobilizing civic action against all forms of hate speech and incitement to violence, including through disinformation created via the Covid-19 pandemic. #defyhatenow seeks to support the voices and actions of citizens working against online induced conflict within and outside affected regions by bringing youth, community leaders, grassroots organizations and further civil society stakeholders into a peace-oriented media and information literacy framework. Bridging gaps of knowledge and awareness of social media mechanisms between those with access to technology and those without, #defyhatenow is a growing network of online and offline peacebuilders.
Funded from 2015 to 2018 by the ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (zivik) with means of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).