The month of the Youths in Cameroon was another month for our team and partners to engage media-youth led organizations for peacebuilding in Cameroon. February 2022 has been dense with the flow of news that structured debates and actions online and offline. As technology advances, so do platforms as they reflect both the good and bad aspects of human nature and decision making in our everyday life. This flow is characterized by the dissemination of unverified information, hateful content, and incitement to violence at community level.
Online messages posted with the aim of denigrating a person, a group of persons or a community are considered to be triggers for pre-existing prejudice, hatred and social frustrations that cuts across society’s problems. This has been transposed from the virtual framework to the physical and inter-relational environment.
This month, our activities within the framework of the #PenNotGun campaign during the Youth Week, enabled us once again to weigh challenges of the propagation of hate speech and disinformation, incitement to violence most especially in schools for a better social and professional integration of youths. The latter is one of the biggest victims of interactions that takes place on social networks in Cameroon. Some young people consider and believe everything they hear and see on these platforms and speak, comment, and publish at times without thinking. Therefore, we invite Internet users to a more responsible use of social networks while thinking objectively about the content of each message before posting through our online communication of Thinking Before Clicking – #ThinkB4UClick
Freedom of expression is a fundamental and inalienable right, granted to every human being, so, it should not be exercised to the detriment of respect for human dignity and compassion for individuals and or incite violence between communities and people.
The trend of information on social media in Cameroon during the month of February was centered mainly around the Anglophone Conflict, the violence in schools, the teachers’ strike and the war in Ukraine. Once again, elements of hate and misinformation were detected in the contents published and shared.
To this end, #defyhatenow_Cameroon strongly recommends that any form of claim or opinion expressed online be done in the respect of each other’s opinion, with the aim to respect human dignity and advocate for peace.
We encourage all Cameroonians to always #ThinkB4UClick as we work for a #HateFreeCameroon. #defyhatenow_Cameroon reiterates its firm devotion to the construction of peace and access to information as an essential guarantee for a prosperous world.
Happy month of March as we continue to celebrate Peacebuilders with particular interest given to Women.