Mobilising Civic Action to Counter Hate Speech and Violent Extremism both Online and Offline
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 mobilising civic action against all forms of hate speech and incitement to violence, including disinformation created via the Covid-19 pandemic.
#defyhatenow Cameroon 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 organisations 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.
The project is implemented by Civic Watch, a community-based organization registered in Cameroon as a non-profit youth led organization. Civic Watch acts as an intermediary organisation for schools, civic debate spaces or separate public/private organisations for learning and exploring questions of participation and accountability of locally elected officials. Its main goal merges with the initiative’s mandate, which is community mobilisation to counter hateful rhetoric among young people both online and offline.
Through the German Federal Foreign Office grant, this peacebuilding collaboration has enabled keep conflict mitigation conversations going, develop public resources, including comprehensive bilingual Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation Field Guides, an Early Warning Early Response System and support local activists toward peace-oriented media-based activities.