Under the banner of Defyhatenow, Ms. Pedmia Shatu, one of the FactsMatter237 fellows, held a monthly meetup to discuss hate speech in Cameroon. The event took place on Wednesday January 30, 2020.
The event’s target audience were journalists from the print and audiovisual sector as well as civil society organizations. In attendance was also one comedian. The event was conducted because it is necessary to get the insights of participants who share close contact with the population. The session started with a brief presentation by each of the participants and Ms. Shatu gave a brief background of #DefyHateNow’s work and especially the #factsmatter237 project. A discussion on the ways in which Hate speech is present the most and how it can be mitigated was also included in the session. Ms. Shatu also shared previous knowedge on how hate speech can be reported and how to fact check information.
With regards to hate speech, all the participants agreed that it is mostly on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp groups. On Facebook, the agreement was that hate speech is especially spread from Facebook groups owned by activists of the ongoing crisis in Cameroon. For WhatsApp, the spread of fake news, hate speech, misinformation and disinformation is also consistent with some groups.
In the last session of the meetup, the participants identified common words that depict Hatespeech online and offline in Cameroon such as “KumKumize”, “Garri them”, and many others. Generally, the participants were happy about the initiative and proposed continued sensitization of the population about the dangers of hate speech.